Zandstra Laboratory

Research in the Zandstra Laboratory is focused on the generation of functional tissue from somatic and pluripotent stem cells. Our quantitative, technology-driven approach strives to gain new insights into fundamental mechanisms that control stem cell fate and to develop robust technologies for the propagation of stem cells and their derivatives.

Main Areas of Research

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pluripotent stem cells can produce any cell in our bodies. Our work focuses on replicating dynamic developmental niches to mimic the spatial and temporal signals that guide the development of early tissues, especially blood-forming mesoderm. We are also interested in the transcription factor and signaling networks that govern early cell fate commitment, and how these networks connect to microenvironment-level signals. Application of novel microfabrication tools to control the cellular microenvironment are a key element of our strategy.

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pluripotent stem cells can produce any cell in our bodies. Our work focuses on replicating dynamic developmental niches to mimic the spatial and temporal signals that guide the development of early tissues, especially blood-forming mesoderm. We are also interested in the transcription factor and signaling networks that govern early cell fate commitment, and how these networks connect to microenvironment-level signals. Application of novel microfabrication tools to control the cellular microenvironment are a key element of our strategy.

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pluripotent stem cells can produce any cell in our bodies. Our work focuses on replicating dynamic developmental niches to mimic the spatial and temporal signals that guide the development of early tissues, especially blood-forming mesoderm. We are also interested in the transcription factor and signaling networks that govern early cell fate commitment, and how these networks connect to microenvironment-level signals. Application of novel microfabrication tools to control the cellular microenvironment are a key element of our strategy.

Computational Approaches

Many projects in our lab use computational modeling to accelerate hypothesis generation. We have developed novel bioinformatic approaches to simulate cell-cell interaction networks, and are exploring the use of computer simulations to connect transcription factor, signaling and tissue level models and use these models to simulate tissue and organ(iod) development. This work combines approaches from computer science, bioinformatics, numerical simulation and visualization to study basic and applied problems in stem cell biology.

Computational Approaches

Many projects in our lab use computational modeling to accelerate hypothesis generation. We have developed novel bioinformatic approaches to simulate cell-cell interaction networks, and are exploring the use of computer simulations to connect transcription factor, signaling and tissue level models and use these models to simulate tissue and organ(iod) development. This work combines approaches from computer science, bioinformatics, numerical simulation and visualization to study basic and applied problems in stem cell biology.

Computational Approaches

Many projects in our lab use computational modeling to accelerate hypothesis generation. We have developed novel bioinformatic approaches to simulate cell-cell interaction networks, and are exploring the use of computer simulations to connect transcription factor, signaling and tissue level models and use these models to simulate tissue and organ(iod) development. This work combines approaches from computer science, bioinformatics, numerical simulation and visualization to study basic and applied problems in stem cell biology.

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