Dept. of Life Science Frontiers
Akitsu Hotta (Junior Associate Professor)
Akitsu Hotta Ph.D.
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By steering induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to differentiate into cells of various lineages capable of physiological function within the body, it may one day be possible to develop revolutionary cell-based medical treatments that overcome the problems of immune rejection and donor shortages. However, a number of hurdles remain to be cleared, such as the development of reliable methods for selecting high-quality iPS cells and the elimination of the risks of teratoma formation or the inadvertent inclusion of undifferentiated cells, before clinical applications can be achieved.
In my previous work, I used viral vector transgene delivery systems and epigenetic regulation of transcription to drive the undifferentiated pluripotent stem cell-specific expression of GFP and drug-resistance genes as a high-efficiency method of selecting human iPS cells. Through this work, I have engaged in the search for novel reprogramming factors as well as research into the derivation of various patient-specific iPS cell lines and the intra-nuclear changes that accompany the reprogramming process. Taking advantage of my experience in these areas, I will seek to develop techniques for the generation and selection of safer human iPS cells and novel iPS-based gene therapy approaches to the treatment of hemophilia and other genetic conditions.