The Palecek Lab
Our group at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison is interested in characterizing the nature in which quantitative changes in the flow of cellular signals can control a wide variety of useful processes. With this information we will design strategies to stimulate or inhibit cellular signaling pathways either at the chemical or physical level, and thereby regulate cell functions. Specifically we focus on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and high throughput protein arrays.
hPSCs hold tremendous potential for use in tissue engineering applications because of their virtually unlimited capability to self-renew and their ability to differentiate into any cell type found in the adult. Thus, under the proper conditions, it is possible to generate a limitless supply of a desired cell type from a single, safe source. We focus on differentiating keratinocytes, skin cells and cardiomyocytes, heart muscle cells from hPSCs. We are also investigating the Wnt pathway in hPSCs seeded onto 3D constructs.
Our group is also investigating microfluidic devices to design a high throughput protein array for cancer diagnosis. We aim to immobilize substrates for breast cancer kinases in order to detect the overactive kinases present in a cell lysate. This will help patient specific therapy by determining which kinase inhibitors are most effective for which patients.
Palecek Lab in the newsRecently, Lance Lian's research on generating high purity populations of cardiomyocytes from hPSCs was featured in both university news and local news.
Also, research on developing an in vitro model for the human blood brain barrier by Samira Azarin and Ethan Lippman in the Shusta group was also featured in university news.