Department of Internal Medicine
Nicholas Zavazava, M.D., Ph.D.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, i.e. they can form all three germ layers. This property can be exploited for generating tissues that can be used in regenerative medicine. Our laboratory is interested in generating tissues from embryonic stem cells that can be applied to treat diseases. We are also interested in understanding the interaction of the immune system with these newly generated tissues. Our preliminary data show that embryonic stem cell-derived cells are non-immunogenic and can be transplanted across major histocompatibility barriers with minimal host preconditioning, an advantage over other tissues. For example, early studies have shown that embryonic stem cells can be used to generate insulin producing cells. However, the reported cells are inefficient at secreting insulin that can cure diabetes. We are defining the genes and transcription factors required during pancreatic b-cell development and are currently manipulating the definitive endoderm for generating more efficient insulin-producing cells. A better understanding of tissue development will facilitate the application of embryonic stem cells in diseases such as diabetes, organ rejection, Parkinson’s disease and others.
Honors, Awards, and Organizations
- Young Investigator Award, AST (American Society of Transplantation)
- Rudolf-Pichilmayr-Preis, 1999, German Transplantation Society
- Outstanding Undergraduate Awards, 1978-1980
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship, 1981-1987
- Teaching Award, 1993, German Society of Ophthalmology
- American Society of Transplantation (AST)
- American Association of Immunology (AAI)
- International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)
- Chan, K.M., Bonde, S., Klump, H. and Zavazava. Hematopoiesis and immunity of HOXB4-transduced embryonic stem cell-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells. BLOOD 111(6):2953-61; 2008.
- Tabayoyong, WB, Salas, J., Bonde, S. and Zavazava, N. HOXB4-Transduced ES Cell-Derived Lin-c-kit+ and Lin-Sca-1+ Hematopoietic Progenitors Express H60 and are Targeted by NK Cells. J. Immunol. [Epub], 183(9):5449-57;2009.
- Bonde, S., Pedram, M., Stultz, R. and Zavazava, N. Cell Fusion of Bone Marrow Cells and Somatic Cell Reprogramming by Embryonic Stem Cells. Faseb. J. 24(2):364-73. Epub, 2009.
- Fändrich, F., Lin, X., Chai, G.X., Schulze, M., Ganten, D., Bader, M., Holle, J., Huang, D-S., Parwaresch T., Zavazava, N., and Binas, B.: Preimplantation-Stage Stem Cells Induce Long-Term Allogeneic Graft Acceptance without Supplementary Host Conditioning. Nature Med. 8:171-178, 2002.
- Zavazava, N., and Krönke, M.: Soluble HLA Class I Molecules Induce Apoptosis in Alloreactive Cytotoxic Lymphocytes. Nat. Med., 2:1005-1010, 1996.
Links of Interest