The laboratory of reprogramming and epigenetics is led by Dr. Jose M. Polo who has recently relocated to Monash from Harvard University and has established his own research group.
The laboratory is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern pluripotency and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Being able to specifically reprogram a mature cellular program into a pluripotent state and from there back into another particular cellular program provides a unique tool to dissect the molecular and cellular events that permit the conversion of one cell type to another. Moreover, iPS cells and the reprogramming technology are of great interest in the pharmaceutical and clinical settings, since the technology can be used to generate animal and cellular models for the study of various diseases as well as in the future, to provide tailor made cells for patients for use in cellular replacement therapies. However, despite being one of the major growing research fields very little is known about the epigenetic and transcriptome changes occurring during this process.
This allocation will also be used as an archive of the general work done as part of the Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium.