Rowe Researcher: Measuring Viral Titer to Analyze Transduction Efficiency in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Spring 2011: Measuring Viral Titer to Analyze Transduction Efficiency in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Dr. X. Cindy Tian, Yong Tang, and Michael Tassavor

Stem cells have the ability to dramatically change the medical landscape, allowing regrowth and regeneration of tissues previously irreparable to modern science. Severe burns, spinal breakages, and muscle damage all can benefit, as well as more abstract diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and cancer. Until quite recently, however, sources for stem cells were limited to embryonic material.

In 2007, researchers managed to convert specialized adult cells to pluripotent stem cells capable of taking any somatic form in mice. This is highly useful in that it negates any need for embryonic stem cells in stem cell therapy, sidestepping legal and moral issues, as well as public outcry. Furthermore, it allows customized cells grown from the patient’s own cells, preventing immune rejection. Non-embryonic stem cells also have the benefit of allowing research to proceed with government grants, which, depending on the state and federal agencies involved, prohibit embryonic stem cell research. Continue reading

2008 Rowe Scholar: Michael Tassavor

Michael Tassavor
Michael Tassavor

Michael Tassavor loves flying, whether it’s traveling, playing Flight Simulator, or simply watching planes take-off and land. He hopes to get a private flying license one day. In the meantime, the student from Rocky Hill, Connecticut will focus on medicine. Michael is a graduate of Rocky Hill High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science and is part of the Combined Program in Medicine at UConn. He has attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, and has shadowed an ophthalmologist volunteering in Iran. Mike was a participant in the Health Professions Partnership Initiative programming.