Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
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Ash A. Alizadeh, MD/PhD
Moghadam Family Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research is focused on attaining a better understanding of the initiation, maintenance, and progression of tumors, and their response to current therapies toward improving future treatment strategies. In this effort, I employ tools from functional genomics, computational biology, molecular genetics, and mouse models.
Clinically, I specialize in the care of patients with lymphomas, working on translating our findings in prospective cancer clinical trials.
Lay Teng Ang
Instructor, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
BioAs a stem cell biologist, my overall goal is to understand the mechanisms through which stem cells differentiate into progressively-specialized cell-types and to harness this knowledge to artificially generate pure populations of desired cell-types from stem cells. My work over the past 10 years has centered on pluripotent stem cells (PSCs, which include embryonic and pluripotent stem cells), which have the remarkable ability to generate any of the hundreds of diverse cell-types in the body. However, it has been notoriously difficult to guide PSCs to differentiate into a pure population of a given cell-type. Current differentiation strategies typically generate heterogeneous cell populations unsuitable for basic research or clinical applications. To address this challenge, I mapped the cascade of branching lineage choices through which PSCs differentiate into a variety of endodermal and mesodermal cell-types. I then developed effective methods to differentiate PSCs into specific lineages by providing the extracellular signal(s) that specify a given lineage while inhibiting the signals that induce the alternate fate(s), enabling the generation of highly-pure human heart, bone (Loh & Chen et al., 2016; Cell) and liver (Loh & Ang et al., 2014; Cell Stem Cell) from PSCs. My laboratory currently focuses on differentiation of human PSCs into liver progenitors (Ang et al., 2018; Cell Reports) and blood vessel progenitors.
I earned my Ph.D. jointly from the University of Cambridge and A*STAR and was subsequently appointed as a Research Fellow, and later, a Senior Research Fellow, at the Genome Institute of Singapore. I then moved my laboratory to Stanford University as a Siebel Investigator and Instructor at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, where my laboratory has been supported by the Siebel Investigatorship, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and other sources.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
BioMy expertise is in the areas of regeneration, evolution, the nervous system and cell biology. I use a marine colonial tunicate, Botryllus schlosseri, characterized by having robust regenerative capabilities and an assayable and frequent (weekly) CNS (Central nervous system) tissue regeneration and loss throughout adult life. I believe that comparative studies on a simple chordate can help us elucidate the principal mechanisms that are the foundation of regeneration and aging.
I use a multidisciplinary methodology that integrates advanced single cell RNAseq, imaging, multi-parameter flow cytometric isolation of cellular populations and transplantation assays to elucidate the cellular and genetic changes associated with neuronal degeneration process in young and old colonies.