20 December 2016

Jo Huiqing Zhou’s team, theme Reconstructive and regenerative medicine, has recently obtained a Van Gogh Program travel grant, together with Professor Daniel Aberdam’s team in INSERM Paris. This travel grant is to facilitate an on-going collaborative project of two teams, on the research topic of ‘epigenetic mechanisms and therapeutic rescue of limbal stem cell deficiency’.

Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency

Human cornea is constantly renewed by stem cells of the limbus, which is located at the cornea periphery. Degenerative corneal diseases are often caused by Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD) that leads to blindness. Inherited LSCD is associated with mutations of PAX6 in aniridia and of p63 in ectodermal dysplasia syndromes. So far the molecular mechanism of LSCD are not fully understood, and no cure is yet available for LSCD. This collaborative project is to combine the complementary expertise of limbal stem cell research in the Aberdam Lab (INSERM, Paris) and of epigenetic characterization of stem cells in the Zhou Lab (Radboud University, Nijmegen) to dissect molecular mechanisms of LSCD and develop therapeutic options. In this project, we will use cellular models of patient derived limbal stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cell that can be differentiated towards limbal epithelial cells. 

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