Human Disease Models

The Human Disease Models Program uses a broad range of approaches towards understanding the molecular and cellular basis of human disease. These included the use of animal models, stem cell culture models and cell-based drug discovery through high-throughput small molecule screening. The Center has a broad interest in human health and disease including the development of new therapies and diagnostics in areas relating to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disease.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

This goal of this Program is to generate pluripotent stem cell-derived cell types that can be transplanted into patients with conditions for which there are no current cures. This includes the development of cell-based therapeutics and tissue engineering to treat common diseases and repair of damaged or non-functional tissue. Areas of research interest include cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases including diabetes and neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The CMM Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program also has interests in iPSC technology to model human disease- those of current interest include diseases of the peripheral nervous system, pediatric heart defects and congenital disorders of glycosylation.

Vaccine Development & Therapeutics

This Program develops new strategies for the protection against infectious diseases and cancer by understanding key molecular and cellular interactions between components of the immune system and carbohydrate antigens associated with microbes or tumor cells. Immunological aspects of this Program are linked to the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Program by the need to develop strategies where transplanted cells can avoid immune-rejection.