Our lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal and differentiation. ES cells are remarkable cell lines, derived from the inner cell mass of pre-implantation embryos, that can grow indefinitely in culture. When an ES cell divides, it can either produce identical copies of itself (self-renewal) or other more specialized cell types (differentiation), such as neurons. Understanding how an ES cell makes this choice between self-renewal and differentiation is the central challenge in stem cell research.
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