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Panel 2: Discussion

Stem Cells in Development and Disease

October 31, 2012
10 minutes
Kristin Baldwin, Leanne Jones, Ulrich Mueller, Birgitt Schuele, Fyodor Urnov


Kristin Baldwin is an associate professor of cell biology and an investigator of the Dorris Neuroscience Institute at the Scripps Research Institute. The Baldwin laboratory is interested in basic mechanisms of reprogramming, epigenetic remodeling, genome stability and molecular diversity in stem cells and neurons. Research in the lab aims to apply these findings to develop improved models of human neurologic diseases. Members of the Baldwin lab generated first mice derived entirely from a fibroblast (via an iPSC intermediate), helping to establish iPSCs cells as functionally similar to ES cells. Dr. Baldwin was a Pew Scholar in the Biological Sciences, a Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar, a Kavli Fellow and has received grant support from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the NIH, the Whitehall Foundation, the San Diego Foundation and the O’Keeffe Family Foundation. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Leanne Jones is currently an associate professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where her lab addresses questions regarding stem cell-niche interactions during development, aging, and in response to changes in metabolism. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard University. She then conducted her postdoctoral work at Stanford University School of Medicine in the Departments of Genetics and Developmental Biology.

Ulrich Mueller has been with the Scripps Research Institute since 2003 and prior to that he was at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. His research focus is on auditory perception and neuronal circuit formation. He and his laboratory team identify and study genes that control the function of the auditory sense organ of mammals. They also analyze the mechanisms that establish neuronal connections between the auditory sense organs and the cerebral cortex, and the formation of cell layers and neuronal circuits within the cortex. Dr. Mueller received his Ph.D. from the Albertus Magnus University in Cologne, Germany.

Birgitt Schuele joined The Parkinson’s Institute in 2005. She and her team are developing a new model of “Parkinson’s disease in a petri-dish”. Her team has created patient-derived pluripotent stem cell lines from patients with Parkinson’s disease and has developed approaches to differentiate them into
dopamine neurons. The goal is to utilize this new model to exploit disease mechanisms of PD, discover environmental toxins, and for innovative drug screening. Dr. Schüle earned her M.D. in 2001 from the Medical University Lübeck, Germany and received her doctoral degree (Dr. med.) in Molecular Neurophysiology from the Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany.

Fyodor Urnov is senior scientist and team leader at Sangamo BioSciences, where he leads efforts to use targeted genome editing with engineered zinc finger nucleases to develop stem-cell-based treatments for monogenic disease, and to unravel the genetic basis of complex disease. Dr. Urnov received his undergraduate degree in biology from Moscow State University, and then studied how chromatin is involved in genome control in Susan Gerbi’s lab at Brown and in Alan Wollfe’s group at the NIH. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University. He has been at Sangamo BioSciences since 2000 and works on translating human genome editing to disease therapeutics. Dr. Fyodor also teaches undergraduate genetics and biochemistry at UC Berkeley.