Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bioengineer Kun Zhang Wins Stem Cell Grant to Study Stem Cell Mutations

Bioengineering professor Kun Zhang took home one of the 8 CIMR grants that went to UC San Diego today. (Read the original press release by Debra Kain.)

The summary of Zhang's newly funded project:

Kun Zhang, assistant professor, Department of Bioengineering, Jacobs School of Engineering and the UCSD Institute for Genomic Medicine, was awarded $1,382,140 to study mutations associated with stem cell reprogramming and differentiation. By understanding the functional consequences of mutations that can arise during the course of reprogramming a patient’s own stem cells into pluripotent stem cells, the researchers hope to clear one of the biggest hurdles in the field of hIPS cells – the risk of cancer.  The scientists will comprehensively identify genetic changes in protein coding sequences, or exomes, through large-scale DNA sequencing, with the goal of better understanding of how such mutations occur and propagate. Read about Zhang's recent Nature paper on stem cell mutations.

Learn about Zhang's recent Nature paper.

Media coverage from the Zhang Nature paper:
Nature News & Views
MIT Technology Review
San Diego Union Tribune
Los Angeles Times
NPR Science Friday

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