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  • Michael Kareta

    Michael Kareta

    Postdoctoral Research fellow, Pediatrics Cancer Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests I am a postdoctoral fellow co-advised by Dr Julien Sage and Dr Marius Wernig at Stanford University where I am furthering my doctoral studies in mammalian epigenetics by investigating processes underlying cellular dedifferentiation. In particular, I am studying the role of the Retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor, the primary gene of interest in the Sage laboratory, which has been shown to be a critical transcriptional regulator in part by controlling the epigenetic landscape at target genes. I am utilizing the process of induced pluripotency, an expertise of the Wernig laboratory, to drive dedifferentiation. I have shown that RB does indeed regulate dedifferentiation, in part by the silencing of critical pluripotency genes. Further investigation of the role of RB in dedifferentiation could reveal important insights into the mechanism by which Rb can prevent tumor formation, and consequently how a loss of Rb activity can make a cell cancer prone. In the future I will be investigating how the innate properties of cellular plasticity and variability define cell identity and can affect various states of disease, including cancer, or regeneration. To acheive these ends I employ a host of the latest genomic, systems biology, and single-cell techniques, along with classical molecular and cellular approaches to address these fundamental questions.

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