Research Activities

Research Activities

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Principal Investigators

Dept. of Cell Growth and Differentiation 
Yoshinori Yoshida (Associate Professor)

Yoshinori Yoshida M.D., Ph.D.

[ Lab Website ]

[ Contact ]
yoshida-g*cira.kyoto-u.ac.jp
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Research Overview

Currently, our lab is using iPS cells to study cardiomyocytes and blood cells with application towards regenerative medicine, drug discovery and disease modeling. If you are interested, please contact us.

1. Development of myocardial regenerative medicine
Regenerative medicine is key for patients with currently little treatment options. We are using iPS cells to seek new therapies for this purpose.

2. Disease-specific iPS cells
iPS cells are invaluable for disease models, as they can be designed to recapitulate disease phenotypes in vitro. We are using iPS cells to study cardiac diseases (e.g. cardiomyopathies) and hematopoietic diseases (e.g. myelodysplastic syndrome). Furthermore, we are using gene editing technology, such as TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9, to modify iPS cells from diseased patients. We then differentiate the edited and unedited iPS patient cells into the cell type of interest and compare the phenotypes. Our goal is to develop new therapies to treat such diseases.

3. Cardiomyocytes and blood cells for clinical application.
The differentiation of ES/iPS cells to cardiomyocytes has extraordinary potential for new treatments against related diseases. To innovate new therapies, we are investigating differentiation protocols, sorting methods, and transplantation techniques. ES/iPS cells also provide an attractive model for drug discovery and toxicity assays. However, cardiomyocytes describe an array of subtypes, including pacemaker cells, atrial cells and ventricular cells. Each subtype has its own role in the function and disease of the heart. Another factor besides the subtype is the maturity of the cardiomycoytes. Therefore, we are investigating protocols that differentiate ES/iPS cells into the proper subtype and proper maturity to study related diseases and novel therapies.
Blood cells and blood progenitors produced from ES/iPS cells tend to show poor engraftment when transplanted into mice. It is believed the maturation of the cells is one reason. Therefore, we are developing differentiation protocols that can control the maturity of blood cells too.

4. Investigation into mechanisms determining the differentiation capacity of ES/iPS cells.
ES/iPS cell clones show variable differentiation capacity to different somatic cell types. We are investigating the mechanisms that govern these differences by comparing the behavior of the cell lines during differentiation into cardiomyocytes and hematopoietic cells. The goal of this project is to establish iPS cell clones suitable for clinical applications.

Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells
(Green: cardiac isoform of Troponin T, Blue: DAPI)

Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells
(Green: cardiac isoform of Troponin T, Blue: DAPI)

Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells provide a transplant for myocardial infarction mouse (Yellow)

Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells provide a transplant for myocardial infarction mouse (Yellow)

Hematopoietic cells derived from human iPS cells

Hematopoietic cells derived from human iPS cells

Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells
(Green: cardiac isoform of Troponin T, Blue: DAPI)
cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS
Cardiomyocytes derived from human iPS cells provide a transplant for myocardial infarction mouse (Yellow) human iPS
Hematopoietic cells derived from human iPS cells human iPS
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