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  • Group Leader, Reprogramming and Epigentics Laboratory, Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL), Monash University

Research interests

Dr Polo's group is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern pluripotency and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. He is particularly interested in three aspects:

  1. The kinetics and universality of the epigenetic changes occurring during reprogramming
  2. The in vitro and in vivo plasticity potential of the generated cells; and
  3. The composition and assembly kinetics of transcriptional regulation complexes at pluripotency genes.

Using different molecular, biochemical and cellular techniques Dr Polo's lab is aiming to dissect the nature and dynamic of such events.


  1. Ohi Y, Qin H, Hong C, Blouin L, Polo JM, Guo T, Qi Z, Downey SL, Manos PD, Rossi DJ, Yu J, Hebrok M, Hochedlinger K, Costello JF, Song JS, Ramalho-Santos M.Incomplete DNA methylation underlies a transcriptional memory of somatic cells in human iPS cells. Nat Cell Biol. 2011 May;13(5):541-9;
  2. Polo JM, Liu S, Figueroa ME, Kulalert W, Eminli S, Tan KY, Apostolou E, Stadtfeld M, Li Y, Shioda T, Natesan S, Wagers AJ, Melnick A, Evans T, Hochedlinger K. “Cell type of origin influences the molecular and functional properties of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells. ” Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Aug;28(8):848-55
  3. Polo JM, Hochedlinger K. “When fibroblasts MET iPSCs” Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jul 2;7(1):5-6
  4. Utikal J*, Polo JM*, Stadtfeld M, Maherali N, Kulalert W, Walsh RM, Khalil A, Rheinwald JG, Hochedlinger K. “Immortalization eliminates a roadblock during cellular reprogramming into iPS cells” Nature. 2009 Aug 27;460(7259):1145-8
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