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Tamer Önder - Reprogramming, Stem cells, epigenetics


The Stem Cell Laboratory at KUTTAM (scl.ku.edu.tr/) studies the molecular mechanisms of cellular reprogramming. Reprogramming of differentiated cells, such as skin cells, to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has revolutionized the field of stem cell biology and greatly increased the opportunities for disease modeling and cell-based regenerative therapies. While iPSCs offer tremendous potential, a number of technical challenges remain in the generation of iPSCs that hamper their use in clinical settings. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cellular reprogramming is essential for devising methods to overcome these challenges. Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming and identifying genes that are important for iPSC generation. Specifically, we utilize forward genetics tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 technology and chemical screens using small molecule inhibitors to identify the role chromatin modifying enzymes play during reprogramming.