Stem Cells

Stem cells and research on their regenerative abilities have been part of the Morgridge Institute’s mission since its founding. Recently retired Morgridge Investigator Dr. James Thomson is the pioneer of stem cell research, and his influence is still felt in the study of regenerative biology. Today, the Regenerative Biology theme is composed of Investigators Phil Newmark, Ron Stewart, and Daniela Drummond-Barbosa.

The Thomson Lab focuses on understanding how pluripotent stem cells can change or maintain their identities, and how stem cells can be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells. This research has been used to advance treatment for various diseases.

The Newmark Lab uses planarians, a type of flatworm with regenerative abilities, to understand how stem cells can replace certain parts of the planarian, and are also working to further research on schistosomiasis, an often overlooked tropical disease.

Working closely with the scientists of the wet lab, the Stewart Computational Biology Group combines computer science, biology, mathematics and statistics to design experiments that study gene regulation in stem cells.

The Drummond-Barbosa Lab uses the drosophila, also known as a fly, to conduct research on the metabolic and physiological processes that influence stem cell behavior in response to things like diet and stress.

At the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, several labs engage in regenerative biology and related multidisciplinary research. These teams of engineers, biologists, biophysics, and physicians collaborate to create tools and therapies for human disease.

The Ashton Lab focuses on generating tissues and therapies for the central nervous system. The Gong Lab and the Turng Lab are using scaffolds to regenerate tissue using stem cells. The Saha Lab is studying CRISPR CAR-T cells to induce tumor regression.

Together, these labs and their talented teams are paving the way for a bright future in regenerative biology and improving human health.