Position title: Professor, Comparative Biosciences
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- Suzuki Lab
Application of stem cells to developmental modeling and cell-based therapy for neuromuscular disorders
Our current research focuses on developing stem cell technology for use in treating and modeling neuromuscular diseases. We have engaged in basic and translational studies using human neural progenitor cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and pluripotent stem cells to develop therapeutic strategies for neuromuscular diseases.
In neuromuscular diseases, impaired muscle function may result from pathology in the muscle, nerves innervating the muscle, or the neuromuscular connections. Because most neuromuscular diseases are terminal with few treatment options and no known cures, discovery of new treatments is an urgent demand. The research in my laboratory has been directed towards optimizing applications of stem cells for treatment of neuromuscular diseases, with a primary focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive, neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons of the spinal cord and brain degenerate, causing paralysis and death due to respiratory failure.