The Fox Center for Vision Restoration organizes an exciting lecture series focusing on ocular regeneration and new therapies.
Distinguished national and international speakers present their innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to finding cures for vision impairment. The objective of this lecture series is to accelerate research through knowledge sharing, partnership building and out of the box thinking.
Johnny Huard, PhD
Professor in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Pathology
Director of the Stem Cells Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh
Johnny Huard, PhD is a professor in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Pathology and also the director of the Stem Cell Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been named the Henry J. Mankin Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery Research. Dr. Huard is also deputy director for cellular therapy at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (MIRM) and an associate director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative (PTEI). Dr. Huard is co-founder of Cook MyoSite, Inc., a biotechnology company.
Abstract of the presentation
Members of my laboratory have isolated various populations of myogenic cells from the postnatal skeletal muscle of normal mice on the basis of the cells’ adhesion characteristics, proliferation behavior, and myogenic and stem cell marker expression profiles. Although most of these cell populations have displayed characteristics similar to those of satellite cells, we also have identified a unique population of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs). MDSCs exhibit long-term proliferation and high self-renewal rates and can differentiate toward various lineages, both in vitro and in vivo.
The transplantation of MDSCs, in contrast to that of other myogenic cells, has improved the efficiency of dystrophic muscle regeneration and the delivery of dystrophin to dystrophic muscle. The ability of MDSCs to proliferate in vivo for an extended period of time, combined with their capacity to exhibit self-renewal, multipotent differentiation, and transplantation.
Recent studies performed by members of my laboratory have shown that transplantation of female MDSCs (F-FMSCs) rather than male MDSCs (M-MDSCs) significantly improves skeletal muscle regeneration despite the similar myogenic and stem cell marker expression by both cell types. I will explain the increased muscle regeneration efficiency exhibited by F-MDSCs. My presentation will also address the influence of environmental cues within dystrophic or injured skeletal muscle on the differentiation of MDSCs into fibrotic cells. I will discuss potential strategies by which to prevent scar tissue formation within injured muscle by blocking TGF-?1 activity. I then will discuss the use of MDSCs in gene therapy and tissue engineering applications designed to improve bone and articular cartilage healing through the genetic modification of MDSCs to express osteogenic proteins (BMP2 and -4) and the angiogenic factor VEGF.
I will also outline in my presentation new results obtained with human muscle derived stem cells, which we believe will open new avenues by which researchers could use muscle stem cell-based gene therapy and tissue engineering to improve tissue regeneration.
Location and Address
Eye and Ear Boardroom, 5th floor, Eye and Ear Institute
203 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213