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Stem Cell Research Center

Stem Cell Research Center
Improving the understanding of human life through the academic exploration on the characteristics and use of stem cell. Specifically, our objective is to develop original technology for controlling and tranforming cell fate by understanding the mechanism and molecular characteristics of controlling transition to tissue cell and understanding the fate transformation of somatic cell and stem cell. In addition, our objective is to develop a new evaluation system and develop original technology based on the function of gene related to disease
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researchers and research statement
name research fields
Janghwan Kim
/ Associate Director
  • Differentiation and cross differentiation into neural stem cell
  • Common mechanism for reprogramming
Jung Cho Rok
/ Principal Researcher
  • Verification of disease related gene function and development of original technology for treatment (Synthetic compound/ gene therapy)
  • Development of 3 dimensional cell based disease model
Mi Young Son
/ Principal Researcher
  • Disease modeling based on induced pluripotent stem cell
  • Research on differentiation/utilization of organoids
Myung Jin Son
/ Senior Researcher
  • Regulation of cell fate transformation
  • Development of technology that regulates cell metabolism and mitochondria function
Jung Hwa Lim
/ Senior Researcher
  • Analysis on the function of gene related to disease and development of original technology for treatment
  • Evaluation of effects of low molecular compound/gene therapy
Hyun-Soo Cho
/ Senior Researcher
  • Analysis on the function of cancer specific histone methylation /demethylation and development of treatment
Hyun Mi Kang
/ Researcher
  • Embryology (kidney stem cell)
  • Development of disease model based on 3-dimensional cell
Noh Kyoung Hee
/ Researcher
  • Novel mechanism for ubiquitination enzyme
research areas
  • Finding out the biological and molecular mechanism of somatic cell/stem cell fate transformation
  • Development of fate control/reprogramming core technology for somatic cell/stem cell
  • Development of human disease modeling original technology based on stem cell
  • Development of technology utilizing stem cell
  • Verification of disease related gene function and development of original technology for treatment (synthetic compound/gene therapy)
  • Development of disease model based on 3-dimensional cell
  • Differentiation to transform from fibroblast to neural progenitor cell
    • The center reported that if the 4 Yamanaka factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) are expressed in cell, not only induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) but also differentiated progenitor cell may be produced depending on given environment for the first time. In particular, the center demonstrated that fibroblast is transformed to functionally complete neural stem cell/progenitorcell (NPCs) with high efficiency. The direct cross differentiation technology using Yamanaka factors has advantage of minimizing the number of factors compared to other direct cross differentiation technology and turning fibroblast into various target cells easily. In this regard, it is recognized to present a new paradigm of reprogramming. The research to secure scientific mechanism and applicability of direct cross differentiation technology, which is still in its initial stage, is now being conducted.
  • Maintaining un-differentiation of stem cell and improving efficiency of induced pluripotent somatic cell using nicotinamide
    • The research showed that the culture medium product that includes nicotinamide contributes to maintaining un-differentiation condition effectively and the culturing method using this can improve culturing technology of pluripotent stem cell significantly. Nicotinamide deters aging of cell and induces improvement of mitochondria function serving as an additive that can improve induced pluripotent/reprogramming efficiency through promotion of cell growth.
  • Development of cell fate control technology through controlling mitochondria function
    • The research found out that somatic cell reprogramming is improved and stem cell characteristic is maintained by regulating dynamics and biogenetics of mitochondria. In particular, the research presents that mitochondria can be a core factor in cell fate transformation by identifying the relationship of signaling between Mfn1/2 and p53/p21 which are structural protein of mitochondria.
  • Research on the function of AXL kinase through Receptor tyrosine kinase profiling in human pluripotent stem cell
    • Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) plays an important role in material metabolism, cell signaling, protein regulation, cell transportation, (protein regulation), secretion and other cell reaction routes. This study analyzed the RTK expression pattern in induced pluripotent stem cell and embryonic stem cell and phosphorylation pattern through degenerate PCR method and phospho-RTK array analysis. The study found that the pluripotency of stem cell is maintained due to deterrence of AXL RTK and induced pluripotency is promoted and phospho-proteome analysis showed that various cell signaling pathways are involved.
  • Research on GM1 gangliosidosis disease modeling using patient-oriented induced pluripotent stem cell
    • GM1 gangliosidosis is caused due to lack of β-galactosidase (GLB1). GM1 ganglioside is accumulated particularly in lysosome of central nerve system cell causing symptoms of neurodegeneration. Currently there is no appropriate research model and therapy for this disease. Our research team made induced pluripotent stem cell from GM1 gangliosidosis patient and differentiate it into nerve cell presenting a new GM1 gangliosidosis disease model. The research found that inflammasome pathway is activated in the neuron of GM1 gangliosidosis patient and demonstrated the symptom relief effect using a certain deterrent through in vitro and in vivo test showing a new possibility of new treatment strategy.
  • Identification of disease related target gene and verification of function
    • Presenting the target molecule for anticancer agents through functional verification of genes in frequently caused cancers in Koreans (liver cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer): E2-EPF UCP, PTTG1, Enigma, etc.
    • Finding out the cause through functional verification of fat metabolism genes in kidney diseases
  • Development of anticancer agents targeting new carcinogenic factors
    • Development of non clinical test climates through development of deterrents that deter activation of E2-EPF UCP enzyme and verification of anticancer effect
  • Development of gene therapy based on gene function
    • Development of anticancer gene therapy based on targe molecule expression regulation: Ad.siPTTG1, AAV.TRAIL, Ad.siEnigma
    • Development of gene therapy for ischemic diseases that stabilizes HIF-1α: Ad.UCP
  • Development of disease model based on 3 dimensional bio similar culturing method and medicine effectiveness evaluation model
    • Development of external 3 dimensional tumor model: Tumor regression & metastasis model based on liver cancer cell line
    • Development of medicine absorption/metabolism evaluation model based on circulating culture method
Outstanding Papers
  • Janghwan Kim (Corresponding) Cell Res. 24(1):126-9.
    • Small molecules enable OCT4-mediated direct reprogramming into expandable human neural stem cells
  • Cho-Rok Jung (First) Hepatology 43:1042-52.
    • Adenovirus-Mediated Transfer of siRNA against PTTG1 inhibit liver cancer growth in vitro and in vivo.
  • Cho-Rok Jung (First) Nature Medicine 12:809-16.
    • E2-EPF (ubiquitin carrier protein) UCP targets pVHL for degradation and associated with tumor growth and metastasis
  • Jung CR, Lim JH (First/Second) J Clin Invest. 120(12):4493-506.
    • Enigma negatively regulates p53 through MDM2 and promotes tumor cell survival in mice
  • Myung Jin Son (First) Cell Death Differ. 21(1):36-41.
    • Mitofusins deficiency elicits mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming to pluripotency
  • Mi-Young Son (First) Hum Mol Genet. 23(7):1802-16.
    • Comparative receptor tyrosine kinase profiling identifies a novel role for AXL in human stem cell pluripotency
  • Mi-Young Son (First) J Pathol. 237(1):98-110.
    • A novel human model of the neurodegenerative disease GM1 gangliosidosis using induced pluripotent stem cells demonstrates inflammasome activation.
  • Jung Hwa Lim (First) Molecular Therapy 20:778-87.
    • Adenovirus-mediated E2-EPF UCP Gene Transfer Prevents Autoamputation in a Mouse Model of Hindlimb Ischemia
  • Hyun Mi Kang (First) Nature Medicine 21:37-46.
    • Defective fatty acid oxidation in renal tubular epithelial cells has a key role in kidney fibrosis development