Profile and Department: Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
Lab: Audet Lab
i) Identification of Mechanisms Responsible for the Combinatorial Cytokine Dependence of Stem and Progenitor Cell Fate Decisions
The motivation to understand cytokine interactions is rapidly increasing in medicine due to the emergence of combinatorial cytokine therapies, mainly to treat cancer, infections and to improve graft tolerance. A better understanding of cytokine interactions is also necessary to develop efficient stem cell culture processes that are completely biochemically defined. As the list of molecules and physicochemical parameters useful to control stem cell fate decision gets longer, so is the list of factor interactions that need to be understood.
ii) The Development of Transient Molecular Engineering Approaches for Stem and Progenitor Cells
We have developed a technology based on the use of detachable peptide-based transduction vectors (cell penetrating peptides) for the delivery of bioactive peptides and proteins in adult and embryonic stem and progenitor cells. We have made significant advances in applying this technology to the i) the manipulation of stem and progenitor cell fate in vitro and ii) to the measurement of the activity of intracellular enzymes in single live cells.
iii) The Development of Systems for the Biochemical Analysis of Single Cells
The different research programs described above are closely linked in their ultimate objectives and applications; they also both required the use of tools to examine how signal transduction operates in single live cells. We use multicolor flow cytometry in our research but we have also constructed and developed several applications for a single-cell capillary electrophoresis (CE) system which has a greater potential for multiplexing than flow cytometry.