Dr. Shuibing Chen is the Kilts Family Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her lab uses hiPSCs and ESCs for disease modeling and drug screening, with a focus on diabetes and infectious diseases such as Zika and SARS-CoV-2. She talks about her recent genome-wide association study in a dish, the role of philanthropic funding in stem cell research, and the role of industry partnerships in translational research.
Dr. Paola Arlotta is the Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. She is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation, and assembly of the human brain’s cerebral cortex. She talks about using organoids to study the genetics of autism. She also discusses single-cell sequencing of brain organoids and how to make single-cell sequencing methods and data more accessible.
Dr. Jacob Hanna is an Associate Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab investigates cellular reprogramming and embryogenesis. He talks about the challenges of growing synthetic embryo models in a roller culture system and the feasibility of making human gametes. He also discusses his startup, Renewal Bio, the ethical discussions surrounding stem cell-derived embryos, and creating a more inclusive and equitable scientific community.
Dr. Stefan Irion is the Senior Vice President of Research at BlueRock Therapeutics, a leading engineered cell therapy company with a mission to develop regenerative medicines for intractable diseases. He talks about the company’s Parkinson’s disease trial and the challenges of genetically manipulating stem cells. He also discusses his journey from physician to scientist and his personal connection to Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Jun Wu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern. The Wu lab uses interspecies chimeras to study fundamental biology: conserved and divergent developmental programs, determination of body and organ size, species barriers, and cancer resistance. They are also working to develop new applications for regenerative medicine. He talks about developmental compatibility between species, and the similarities and differences between blastoid models and blastocyts. He also discusses the challenges of growing human cells in animals, and human-monkey chimeric embryos.