Cell and Genetic Engineering

New medicines that deliver human cells and/or genes are transforming our ability to combat disease. This research thrust is poised to discover, characterize and test new gene and cell therapeutics in pre-clinical studies.

We focus on the design and creation of genetic constructs, viral and non-viral delivery systems, and engineered cell lines for translation in the fields of immunology, oncology and stem cell biology.

The group also creates companion cell and tissue systems to model disease states and screen for new targets. A multi-disciplinary approach using methods of computational/synthetic biology, biomedical materials and devices and drug delivery is emphasized in this research.

Ongoing research projects:

  • Multiplexed gene cloning and screening
  • Single cell functional genomics of stem and immune cell differentiation
  • Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics of engineered cell therapy
  • Systems biology of cell-cell communication pathways
  • Biomaterials to model tumor microenvironments
  • Microencapsulated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for treatment in spinal cord injury and arthritis

Representative Publications

  1. Milwid, Jack M., Takaharu Ichimura, Matthew Li, Yunxin Jiao, Jungwoo Lee, Joshua S. Yarmush, Biju Parekkadan, Arno W. Tilles, Joseph V. Bonventre, and Martin L. Yarmush. "Secreted factors from bone marrow stromal cells upregulate IL-10 and reverse acute kidney injury." Stem cells international 2012 (2012).

  2. Parekkadan, Biju, Anne L. Fletcher, Matthew Li, Melissa Y. Tjota, Angelique Bellemare-Pelletier, Jack M. Milwid, Je-Wook Lee, Martin L. Yarmush, and Shannon J. Turley. "Aire controls mesenchymal stem cell-mediated suppression in chronic colitis." Molecular Therapy 20, no. 1 (2012): 178-186.

  3. Saeidi, Nima, Luca Meoli, Eirini Nestoridi, Nitin K. Gupta, Stephanie Kvas, John Kucharczyk, Ali A. Bonab, Alan J. Fischman, Martin L. Yarmush, and Nicholas Stylopoulos. "Reprogramming of intestinal glucose metabolism and glycemic control in rats after gastric bypass." Science 341, no. 6144 (2013): 406-410.

  4. Fletcher, Anne, Jessica Elman, Konstantin Knoblich, Myriam Armant, Biju Parekkadan, Richard Boyd, and Shannon Turley. "Identification of a new cell therapy candidate reveals immunological specialization and robust therapeutic efficacy against high-mortality sepsis (P4212).The Journal of Immunology190, no. Meeting Abstracts 1 (2013): 48-16.

  5. Milwid, Jack M., Matthew Li, Jungwoo Lee, Martin L. Yarmush, and Biju Parekkadan. "Evidence of a hematopoietic origin of human bone marrow stromal cells." Journal of Bone Marrow Research (2013).

  6. Fletcher, Anne L., Jessica S. Elman, Jillian Astarita, Ryan Murray, Nima Saeidi, Joshua D’Rozario, Konstantin Knoblich et al."Lymph node fibroblastic reticular cell transplants show robust therapeutic efficacy in high-mortality murine sepsis." Science translational medicine 6, no. 249 (2014): 249ra109-249ra109.

  7. Elman, Jessica S., Ryan M. Murray, Fangjing Wang, Keyue Shen, Shan Gao, Kevin E. Conway, Martin L. Yarmush, Bakhos A. Tannous, Ralph Weissleder, and Biju Parekkadan. "Pharmacokinetics of natural and engineered secreted factors delivered by mesenchymal stromal cells." PloS one 9, no. 2 (2014): e89882.

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