Cancer Research, Genetics, Systems and Synthetic Biology
University of California, San Diego
Our research lies at the interface of technology development and basic science, with a primary interest in studying and eventually programming the processes of organogenesis for regenerative medicine applications. We use human pluripotent stem cells as a core model system, developing and applying methodologies geared towards systematically studying the interplay of gene regulatory networks and cellular niche on normal and aberrant cell fate specification. Given the parallels in phenotypes (such as self renewal and tumor forming ability) between pluripotent stem cells and cancer cells, a key research thrust is also in dissecting aberrant cellular transformation processes such as during tumorigenesis. Towards the above we integrate our core expertise in synthetic biology and regenerative medicine, with instrumentation and materials engineering.