The ability to grow the cells of one species within an organism of a different species offers scientists a powerful tool for research and medicine. It’s an approach that could advance our understanding of early human development, disease onset and progression and aging; provide innovative platforms for drug evaluation; and address the critical need for transplantable organs. Yet developing such capabilities has been a formidable challenge. Researchers led by Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte have now come one step closer toward this goal by demonstrating a new integration of human cells into animal tissue.
New study shows how to boost muscle regeneration and rebuild tissue
One of the many effects of aging is loss of muscle mass, which contributes to disability in older people. To counter this loss, the lab of Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte is studying ways to accelerate the regeneration of muscle with a combination of molecular compounds common in stem-cell research. Izpisua Belmonte and Postdoctoral Fellow and study first author Chao Wang showed that using these compounds increased the regeneration of muscle cells in mice by activating muscle-cell precursors called myogenic progenitors. The research provides insights that could one day help athletes as well as aging adults regenerate tissue more effectively.
- Building a More Resilient WorldThe world is facing an array of health-related crises: COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, climate change, neurodegenerative conditions, cancers and many more. To tackle these daunting challenges, the Institute is embarking on a philanthropic campaign to focus on resilience: the biological adaptability that mitigates the effects of aging, resists disease and restores global wellness.
- Susan Kaech – How T cells rememberSalk Professor Susan Kaech, director of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, has made it her mission to gain a better understanding of how T cells form, how they exchange molecular signals with the surrounding tissue, and how we can use this knowledge to prevent or treat infections.
- Carl Procko – Lessons from carnivorous plantsStaff Scientist Carl Procko studies Venus flytraps and their close relatives, Sundew plants, to gain insight into the ultra-fast biochemistry of plants and how they can sense touch. It doesn’t hurt that these bug-eating plants are a great way to get kids—and adults—interested in science.
- Nuttida Rungratsameetaweemana – Drawing from memoriesNuttida Rungratsameetaweemana, a Salk postdoctoral researcher who studies neuroscience, was introduced to the perplexities of the brain at age 14 during a chance encounter in a hospital waiting room.