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Fingerprinting stem cells and their behaviors

Research Achievements

Fingerprinting stem cells and their behaviors

The Rutgers IGERT has put forth a novel concept of fingerprinting stem cells and their behaviors in terms of their organizational blueprint. This is done using a high content imaging and image informatics approach. Three IGERT projects have revolved around profiling human stem cells and their specialization toward different regenerative phenotypes. Treiser et al published a seminal paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 on the imaging of the cytoskeletal protein, actin, to parse mesenchymal stem cells from bone-like or fat-like reprogrammed cells. Vega et al. showed that similar ideas can be extended to imaging of the cell nucleus (J. Biomolecular Screening, 2012). Kim et al. are now extending these approaches to tease apart subtle epigenetic states using chromatin organizational features. These image based assays can provide a unique perspectives on cellular structural dynamics and forecast cell fates in more complex microenvironments.