Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have the potential to develop into all tissues of the body, thus offering great promise for therapeutic approaches to birth defects, injuries and degenerative diseases. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from pediatric patients also enable the modeling of congenital childhood diseases. Additionally, the differentiation of human iPSCs or human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into embryoid bodies - 3D aggregates of these cells - enables studies of the mechanisms underlying human embryogenesis. To facilitate and advance research using hPSCs at Washington University, the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell and Genome Engineering (HPSC) Core is being established by combining the expertise of the Genome Engineering and iPSC Center (GEiC) and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core (hESC) from the Departments of Genetics and Developmental Biology. The two WUSTL cores (GEiC and hESC) operate separately, but are combining efforts on this CDI core. CDI funds will be primarily used to subsidize usage for CDI projects and to gather preliminary data for potential CDI projects, in addition to partial support for educational and training activities.
Potential Impact: The HPSC Core will enable new projects and enhance existing projects that utilize hPSCs to further understand and develop treatments for birth defects and childhood diseases.