Dr. Arturo Alvarez-Buyllan

Ending the Debate on Stem Cell Transdifferention

Alvarez-Dolado, M., Pardal, R., Garcia-Verdugo, J.M., Fike, J.R., Lee, H.O., Pfeffer, K., Lois, C., Morrison, S.J. and Alvarez-Buylla, A. (2003) Fusion of bone marrow-derived cells with Purkinje neurons, cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes. Nature425:968-73

Question 01 Movie
Briefly tell us a bit about yourself, your career path over the years, and specifically what led you to begin working in the field of Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Biology.
Michael Barresi

Question 02 Movie
You mentioned that under different experimental conditions or with different cell types transdifferentiation might be possible. Have you found any evidence of that occurring?
Taylor Heald

Question 03 Movie
How do stem cells find their way to damaged areas?
Elizabeth McCarthy

Question 04 Movie
Once a cell fusion event occurs, does this have any effect on the health of the organ? What is the effect on gene regulation after a fusion event in terms of cellular reprogramming? Is it possible that instead of relying on transdifferentiation of the BMDCs to repair tissues, cell fusion could serve to ameliorate the health of the organ?
Nealia House

Question 05 Movie
Seeing how you show that hematopoietic stem cells are unable to transdifferentiate but instead fuse with pre-existing cells, do you think that embryonic stem cells would behave in a similar way or do you think embryonic stem cells would have more potential to transdifferentiate?
Kristen Boyle

Question 06 Movie
It seems as though these findings could have a very significant impact on the clinical treatment of disease using gene/cell therapy. Are there any instances where this technology is currently being applied in this manner, and if so how? If not, what are the barriers that stand in the way? Are these limitations mostly research based or more bureaucratic?
Melissa Cobleigh

Question 07 Movie
Can you explain your work on defining the subventricular zone neural stem cell niche and what impact this work has or will have on future therapeutic uses with adult stem cells?
Michael Barresi