Dr. Clive Svendsen is the Executive Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai. His lab uses stem cells to develop models and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. He talks about using stem cells to model spinal muscular atrophy and the blood-brain barrier, and his cell-gene therapy trial for ALS.
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. 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. 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 blastocysts. He also discusses the challenges of growing human cells in animals, and human-monkey chimeric embryos.
Dr. Edward Grow is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Southwestern. His lab studies reproductive biology, specifically the development of the egg and subsequently the fertilized embryo. He talks about regulating totipotency in ESCs, retroviral reactivation, and ex vivo culturing of follicles and oocytes.