The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai offers researchers at the Black Family Stem Cell Institute access to many core facilities to advance stem cell research. These shared resources provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and the expert support and know-how to promote scientific discoveries and their translation into novel regenerative medicine therapies. The following shared resources are among many core facilities available to our stem cell scientists.
Stem Cell Engineering Core
Since the initial derivation of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryos in 1981, stem cell research has grown exponentially in breadth, depth and impact. A landmark achievement was the development in 2006 of technology to reprogram adult skin fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). More recently, protocols for differentiating stem cells and iPS to form specific cell types and mini-organs (organoids), have allowed us to study human development in a Petri dish, delineate disease mechanisms, test drug effects, and grow organs in the lab that could potentially replace diseased tissue. The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology has endowed these approaches with additional power, allowing us to mimic human gene defects to study disease mechanisms and test therapeutic approaches, or conversely, to repair genetic mutations for patient-specific cell-based therapeutics.
Stem cell-based therapies are already standard practice for some diseases: hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be used to replenish blood cells following chemotherapy or to replace an immune system; cultured skin stem cells are grafted to treat severe wounds and burns; and transplantation of corneal limbal stem cells reverses corneal vascularization and opacity. Combining such approaches with gene editing or replacement vastly extends the range of treatable conditions. These exciting developments lay the groundwork for a therapeutic revolution with the potential to transform patient care.
The goals of the Stem Cell Engineering Core (SCEC) is to support the research of stem cell biology, to facilitate the adoption of stem cell technology more broadly across the School, and to innovate and expand existing protocols. Our services include the derivation of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) from patient blood samples, directed Differentiation into specific cell types, and Genome Editing to create or repair putative disease mutations. The SCEC also offers Training in iPSC culture techniques. The SCEC is lead by Academic Director Dr. Eirini Papapetrou and co-Director Dr. Samuele Marro.
Flow Cytometry Core
The flow cytometry core provides all members of the Mount Sinai community the instrumentation and subject expertise to incorporate flow cytometry and cell sorting into any research project.
The Microscopy CoRE and Advanced Bioimaging Center offers access to laser scanning and spinning disk confocal microscopes, a multi-photon microscope, electron microscopes, a light sheet microscope, superresolution microscopy and widefield microscopes for fixed and live imaging.
Mouse Genetics and Gene Targeting
The Mouse Genetics and Gene Targeting Core provides the Mount Sinai research community a state-of-the-art facility for production of transgenic and gene targeted mice, as well as related rodent embryology techniques.