I'm a Postdoctoral Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Eri Hashino. I'm interested using pluripotent stem cells to treat neurodegenerative disorders or construct in vitro models of human diseases. My thesis project investigates how small molecules can be use to coax stem cells into becoming auditory nerve cells, which often degenerate in patients with profound hearing loss. I am using a new 3D culture system that accurately models the initial steps of ear development. In upcoming experiments I plan to test whether stem cell-derived neurons can make connections with other auditory cells using optogenetic and functional imaging methods.
Faculty Mentor: Eri Hashino, Ph.D.
1. Kondo T, Matsuoka AJ, Shimomura A, Koehler KR, Chan RJ, Miller JM, Srour EF, Hashino E (2011) Wnt signaling promotes neuronal specification from mesenchymal stem cells through activation of Tlx3. Stem Cells 29:836-846
2. Koehler KR, Tropel P, Theile JW, Kondo T, Cummins TR, Viville S, Hashino E (2011) Extended passaging increases the efficiency of neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells. BMC Neuroscience 12:82
3. Krishnan S, Mali RS, Koehler KR, Vemula S, Chatterjee A, Ghosh J, Ramdas B, Ma P, Hashino E, Kapur R (2011) Class IA PI3Kinase regulatory subunit, p85α, mediates mast cell development through regulation of growth and survival related genes. PLoS ONE (in press)