The ability of transcription factors to reprogram the identity of cells is usually very limited and hampers our ability to generate cells types for various different applications. In this grant proposal, entitled "Generating neurons through cellular reprogramming", we propose to conduct genetic screens in the nematode C. elegans that will identify factors that normally act to prevent the ability of transcription factors to reprogram cellular identities. In preliminary work, two such "reprogramming brakes" were identified. Further genetic screens may reveal more of these reprogramming inhibitors and help us better understand the plasticity of cellular, and specifically neuronal identity. This grant proposal makes specific use of the C. elegans model system as a gene discovery tool.

Public Health Relevance

This research proposal studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie the reprogramming of the identity of individual cells. Conceptually, the reprogramming of cellular identity has enormous potential for cell replacement therapies of various human diseases, including neurological diseases, in which individual cells are lost and in which one wishes to replace those cells with intact, reprogrammed cells.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21NS076191-02
Application #
8259131
Study Section
Neurodifferentiation, Plasticity, and Regeneration Study Section (NDPR)
Program Officer
Riddle, Robert D
Project Start
2011-05-01
Project End
2014-04-30
Budget Start
2012-05-01
Budget End
2014-04-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$197,539
Indirect Cost
$72,539
Name
Columbia University (N.Y.)
Department
Biochemistry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
621889815
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10032