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Christoph Schaniel

  • ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics
  • ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Developmental and Regenerative Biology
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  • MS, University of Basel

  • Ph.D., Basel Institute for Immunology/University of Basel

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University


Reprogramming, disease modeling and therapeutics with pluripotent stem cells
Our research interests are to investigate the molecular mechanisms of (re)programming cell fate changes and to study disease pathology and facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies with induced pluripotent stem cells. The revolutionary discovery that specialized, adult somatic cells when exposed to pluripotency-associated factors and/or microRNAs, become plastic and regain embryonic stem cell (ESC) characteristics was a ground-breaking advance in stem cell research. These so-called induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs) generate an unlimited source of cells to model human diseases in a dish, to develop diagnostics and novel therapeutic strategies. This model allows us to test the efficacy and safety of different small molecule/drug treatments by using a “virtual clinical trial in a dish” format. Target cells differentiated from patient-specific iPSCs and disease-corrected hiPSC can be used to develop personalized pharmacologic treatments to which patients show the best response. Additionally, they can be used to screen for (novel) small compounds that can ameliorate the patient’s functional defect.
For more detailed information, please visit the Schaniel Lab website.

Lab members
Sandra Klein, PhD (Postdoc)
Jill Dvornik, BS (Associate Researcher II/ Lab Manager)
Priyanka Dhanan, MS (Associate Researcher II)
Leili Saraffha, BS (PhD rotation student)
Akshitha Yarrabothula, BSChE (Master student)


Lee DF, Su J, Kim HS, Chang B, Papatsenko D, Zhao R, Yuan Y, Gingold J, Xia W, Darr H, Mirzayans R, Hung MC, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR. Modeling Familial Cancer with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Cell 2015; 161(2): 240-254.

Chaurasia P, Gajzer DC, Schaniel C, D'Souza SL, Hoffman R. Epigenetic Reprogramming Upregulates Pluripotency Genes in Cord Blood Stem Cells. Journal of Clinical Investestigation 2014; 124(6): 2378-2395.

Qui J, Papatsenko D, Niu X, Schaniel C, Moore KA. Divisional history and hematopoietic stem cell function during homeostasis. Stem Cell Reports 2014; 2(4): 473-490.

Pereira CF, Chang B, Qiu J, Niu X, Papatsenko D, Hendry CE, Clark NR, Nomura-Kitabayashi A, Kovacic JC, Ma'ayan A, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR, Moore K. Induction of a Hemogenic Program in Mouse Fibroblasts. Cell Stem Cell 2013; 13(2): 205-218.

Gaspar-Maia A, Qadeer ZA, Hasson D, Ratnakumar K, Adrian Leu N, Leroy G, Liu S, Costanzi C, Valle-Garcia D, Schaniel C, Lemischka I, Garcia B, Pehrson JR, Bernstein E. MacroH2A histone variants act as a barrier upon reprogramming towards pluripotency. Nature Communications 2013; 4: 1565.

Fidalgo M, Faiola F, Pereira CF, Ding J, Saunders A, Gingold J, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR, Silva JC, Wang J. Zfp281 Mediates Nanog Autorepression through Recruits of the NuRD Repressor Complex and Inhibits Somatic Cell Reprogramming. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2012; 109: 16202-16207.

Young W, D'Souza SL, Lemischka IR, Schaniel C. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells as a platform for disease modeling, drug discovery and precision personalized medicine. The Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2012; S10-010.

Lee DF, Su J, Ang YS, Carvajal-Vergara X, Mulero-Navarro S, Pereira CF, Gingold J, Wang HL, Zhao R, Sevilla A, Darr H, Williamson AJ, Chang B, Niu X, Aguilo F, Flores ER, Sher YP, Hung MC, Whetton AD, Gelb BD, Moore KA, Snoeck HW, Ma'ayan A, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR. Regulation of embryonic and induced pluripotency by Aurora kinase-p53 signaling. Cell Stem Cell 2012; 11(2): 179-194.

Chang B, Lemischka IR, Schaniel C. MicroRNAs in development, stem cell differentiation and regenerative medicine. In: Regulatory RNAs . Springer; pp409-442.

Schaniel C, Sirabella D, Qiu J, Niu X, Lemischka IR, Moore KA. Wnt-inhibitory factor 1 dysregulation of the bone marrow niche exhausts hematopoietic stem cells. Blood 2011; 118(9): 2420-2429.

Ang YS, Tsai SY, Lee DF, Monk J, Su J, Ratnakumar K, Ding J, Ge Y, Darr H, Chang B, Wang J, Rendl M, Bernstein E, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR. Wdr5 mediates self-renewal and reprogramming via the embryonic stem cell core transcriptional network. Cell 2011; 145(2): 183-197.

Xu H, Schaniel C, Lemischka IR, Ma'ayan A. Toward a complete in silico, multi-layered embryonic stem cell regulatory network [review]. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine 2010; 2(6): 708-733.

Carvajal-Vergara X, Sevilla A, D'Souza SL, Ang YS, Schaniel C, Lee D, Yang L, Kaplan AD, Adler ED, Rozov R, Ge Y, Cohen N, Edelmann LJ, Chang B, Waghray A, Su J, Pardo S, Lichtenbelt KD, Tartaglia M, Gelb BD, Lemischka IR. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived models of LEOPARD syndrome. Nature 2010; 465(7299): 808-812.

Schaniel C, Moore KA. Genetic models to study quiescent stem cells and their niches. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009; 1176: 26-35.

Schaniel C, Ang YS, Ratnakumar K, Cormier C, James T, Bernstein E, Lemischka IR, Paddison PJ. Smarcc1/Baf155 couples self-renewal gene repression with changes in chromatin structure in mouse embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells 2009; 27(12): 2979-2991.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Schaniel did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2014 and/or 2015: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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