Our paper mapping the interactomes of the master transcription factor OCT4 in naive and primed human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) was published today in Nature Communications. We report that OCT4 cooperates with cell state-specific chromatin modifiers in naive and primed hESCs to promote an open chromatin architecture at blastocyst-associated and pan-ectodermal genes, respectively. This work was a collaboration between our team at WashU, Xin Huang and Jianlong Wang at Columbia University, Cigall Kadoch at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute. The WashU team was spearheaded by Kyoung-mi Park in the Theunissen lab in collaboration with the labs of Bo Zhang, Sabine Dietmann, and Ting Wang.
Rowan will present her work on stem cell-derived trophoblast organoids at the 4th workshop on Embryonic/Extraembryonic Interfaces: Engineering Development on July 22nd, 2021.
Chen Dong will present his work on a CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screen to identify essential and growth-restricting genes in human trophoblast stem cells in the concurrent session on Comparative Early Development. In addition, Rowan Karvas will present her work on 3D organoids generated from human trophoblast stem cells in the concurrent session on Complex 3D Systems for Therapy and Drug Discovery. Congrats Chen and Rowan!
Our paper investigating the signaling requirements for naive human pluripotency by high-throughput chemical screening was published today in Cell Reports. We report that naive hESCs can be maintained by blocking distinct nodes in the FGF signaling pathway and that dual MEK/ERK inhibition promotes efficient primed-to-naive resetting in combination with Activin A. This study was a collaboration between Washington University School of Medicine, the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Performed by Rowan Karvas (clarinet) and Sebastian Buhts (marimba & vibraphone) for the Department of Developmental Biology 2020 Virtual Holiday Party.
Thor was interviewed in Science Magazine about new methods to generate human trophoblast stem cells.
Congratulations to Chen for receiving a scholarship to present his work at the upcoming virtual Keystone meeting on Tissue Plasticity: Preservation and Alteration of Cellular Identity, Oct 5 – Oct 7, 2020.
Chen will present his work on derivation of trophoblast stem cells from naïve human pluripotent stem cells in the concurrent session on Early Development and Pluripotency at the ISSCR 2020 Virtual Meeting. Congrats Chen!
Laura Fischer, a second-year Ph.D. student in the Theunissen lab, has received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2020 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
Kudos to Laura. We’re looking forward to your exciting studies!
We’re excited to welcome our newest lab member: Dr. Rowan Karvas, who completed her graduate work with Professor Michael Roberts and Dr. Laura Schulz at the University of Missouri. Please see our Team page for more information.
Our paper examining the trophoblast potential of distinct human stem cell states was published today in eLife. We report that naive, but not primed, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) can directly differentiate into trophoblast stem cells (TSC). The derivation of TSCs from naïve hPSCs presents a new model system to elucidate early mechanisms governing placental development and associated pathologies. This study was a collaboration with the Solnica-Krezel, Wang and Kommagani labs at Washington University.
Image of naive hPSC-derived human TSCs stained with a KRT7 antibody by Chen Dong (Theunissen Lab).
Thor Theunissen was awarded an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. The award supports unusually innovative research from early-career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degrees or clinical residencies. See the press release related to this award here.
Thor was interviewed in the March 7th issue of Cell Stem Cell as part of their “Advice for the Next Generation” series. Read the full interview here.