Backgrounder: The Daley Lab
December 18, 2008
George Daley, MD, PhDThe Children’s Hospital Boston laboratory of George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, is a leader in the stem cell field. Its 30 scientists are working toward understanding the basic science of pluripotent stem cells (both embryonic stem cells, or ESCs, and induced pluripotent, or iPS cells), the development of blood-forming or hematopoietic tissue, the development of germ cells (primitive cells in the embryo that give rise to sperm or eggs), and the mechanisms by which leukemia becomes resistant to therapy. Daley and collaborators have accomplished a number of stem-cell “firsts”:
- Daley's lab was the first to transform mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into hematopoietic (blood) stem cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci 2005 Dec 27; 102(52):19081-6; Cell 2002 Apr 5; 109(1):29-37.]
- With Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute, Daley was the first to combine ESCs with gene therapy, introducing corrective genes into mouse ESCs to treat mice with immune deficiency [Cell 2002 Apr 5;109(1):17-27].
- Daley's lab was the first to transform ESCs into a continuously growing line of embryonic germ cells, and also to create primitive male sperm that were capable of fertilizing an egg -- creating embryos with full sets of chromosomes. This work was cited by Science Magazine as a "Top Ten" breakthrough for 2003. [Nature 2004; 427: 148-154; Epub 2003 Dec 10].
- Daley’s lab was one of three labs worldwide to first report the successful derivation of human iPS cells [Nature 2008; 451(7175):141-6. Epub 2007 Dec 23], and was the first to generate a large set of disease-specific iPS cells [Cell[ 2008; 134(5):877-86. Epub 2008 Aug 7].
The Daley Lab: Key Laboratory Members
George Q. Daley, MD, PhD. Daley is internationally recognized as an expert in stem cell research and for his work in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), a cancer of the blood caused by genetically defective stem cells. His current research is aimed at translating insights in stem cell biology into cellular therapies for degenerative, malignant and genetic diseases.
Daley received a PhD in Biology from MIT, working with Nobelist David Baltimore. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was only the twelfth individual in the school's history to be awarded the degree summa cum laude. He has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Daley was an inaugural winner of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, which provides a five year unrestricted grant to pursue highly innovative research, and was awarded the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society for achievement in patient-oriented research. In addition, he has received awards from the National Institutes of Health, the New England Cancer Society, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation, Harvard Medical School, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America recognizing his contributions to medical research. He is immediate past president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), and chaired the ISSCR Research Task Force on guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research.
Matthew W. Lensch, PhD, and Akiko Yabuuchi, PhD, work in The Daley Lab at Children's Hospital Boston.Inhyun Park, PhD. Park is a cell biologist who is responsible for perfecting the direct reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency, to produce iPS cells. He anchored the team that generated disease specific iPS cells from patients with a variety of genetic and complex disorders including Down syndrome, Parkinson and Huntington Disease, muscular dystrophy, juvenile diabetes, and a variety of blood disorders.
Paul Lerou, MD. Lerou, a fellow in newborn medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, is interested in nuclear transfer and reprogramming, the development of germ cells (primitive eggs and sperm) and early embryonic development. He is hoping this knowledge can aid scientists in deriving human embryonic stem cells and developing combined genetic and cell-based therapies.
Kitai Kim, PhD. Kim, a cell biologist, is using SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer), parthenogenesis, and induced pluripotency to create mouse models of human blood diseases, and is exploring new ways to create embryonic stem cells that are immunologically compatible for transplantation.
Akiko Yabuuchi, PhD. Yabuuchi is an expert in nuclear transfer and experimental methods that enhance the efficiency of nuclear reprogramming and derivation of stem cells.
Matthew W. Lensch, PhD. An instructor in Children’s Division of Hematology/Oncology, Lensch is a specialist in medical genetics. He is using human embryonic stem cells to study Down syndrome and anemia, disorders associated with blood cancers in children.
Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.
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