Previous Training: Northeastern University (B.S.) and Case Western Reserve University (M.S.)
An outstanding issue in stem cell-based therapies is that current directed differentiation protocols of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into muscle generate immature embryonic myocytes and skeletal muscle progenitor cells (SMPCs). In order to create more mature muscle and satellite cells (SCs) in vitro, my research is focused on creating a 3D system of skeletal muscle to recreate the SC niche found in vivo. Another way I am attempting to mature the myocytes and SCs from hPSC-derived in vitro differentiation is to incorporate lower motor neurons (LMNs). Since a key feature of muscle development is innervation, we hypothesize that the addition of LMNs to our 3D system of skeletal muscle, to create neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), will be another critical factor for maturing the myocytes and SCs. This 3D NMJ model system can then be used to model rare NMJ diseases.
Awards: NIH T32 Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Grant 07/2020- 06/2021