Stem cells in the male germlineDate Added: 9/1/2004 11:37:00 AM
Last Updated: 9/1/2004 11:37:00 AM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Male germline stem cells are at the foundation of spermatogenesis, which is one of the most productive self-renewing systems in adults (a man produces about 1,000 sperm every time his heart beats). A technique for transplanting male germline stem cells into the testes if infertile mice was developed about ten years ago, and is an excellent biological assay of stem cell activity. The transplantation technique also allowed us, and others, to harness the regenerative potential of male germline stem cells to restore fertility in mice, rats, and goats. The spermatogenic process is well conserved in mammals and continued development of this regenerative technology may ultimately lead to new fertility preserving options for men and boys. A graduate student project is available to continue developing spermatogonial transplantation in animal models with greater relevance to human physiology.
Among adult tissues, stem cells in the male germline are unique because they can pass genes to subsequent generations. Therefore, manipulation and transplantation of these stem cells constitutes a new method for modifying the genomes of animals to produce transgenic or knockout models and examine the biological functions of specific genes. A graduate student project is available to develop state of the art gene therapy vectors that will be introduced into rat male germline stem cells. The transduced stem cells will then be transplanted to the testes of infertile animals and progeny from these animals will be evaluated for the presence of the transgene.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Stem cell isolation, purification and culture; preparation of gene therapy vectors; animal husbandry and microsurgery.
Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology
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