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  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, CSIRO

Research interests

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) are considered to have an immense potential for regenerative medicine, and are a potential alternative to human embryonic stem cells (hESC). However, before that promise becomes a reality in the clinic, unwanted and worrying phenomena identified in the investigations with hiPSCs need to be understood with the aim of preventing and/or clearing these anomalies.

Our current work has identified novel unpublished observations showing that hIPSC exhibit a propensity to revert to a pluripotent phenotype after spontaneous or directed differentiation in vitro. This hIPSC instability was revealed using our published method to identify pluripotent and differentiated cells in standard human pluripotent stem cell cultures by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), based on expression of the cell surface markers TG30 and GCTM-2. Differentiated cells collected and cultured post-FACS from viral-derived hIPSC lines were unstable and re-acquired immunoreactivity to TG30 and GCTM-2, formed stem cell-like colonies and re-expressed pluripotency markers. Furthermore, differentiated cells that reverted to pluripotency generated teratomas in our mouse experiments, raising concerns regarding the safety of these hIPSC lines.

My current research interests are investigating the mechanism(s) responsible for the phenomenon of reversion to pluripotency in selected hIPSC lines.



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