The Department of Biochemistry's weekly BCH 252 seminar series is presented this week by
Francesco Faiola, Professor, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Seminar Title: "Stem Cell Toxicology: Features and Applications"
Research: Dr. Francesco Faiola established his “Stem Cell Toxicology” lab in 2014, as one of the first labs in the world to be specialized in this new field. In the recent few years, Prof. Faiola has investigated the molecular mechanisms of pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and during reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). He discovered functional interactions among the key stem cell factor Nanog and the epigenetic DNA modifying enzymes Tet 1 and 2, and among Nac1 and E-cad and Zeb1, which played important roles during the somatic cell reprogramming process. These findings, help not only understand how transcription factors and epigenetic regulators orchestrate stem cell pluripotency, but also improve the efficiency of reprogramming, from which the stem cell and regenerative medicine community will benefit for many years. Moreover, Prof. Faiola uncovered the effects of several pollutants on human health, and how those pollutants may be linked to the onset and progression of several diseases. His research culminated in many publications in prestigious journals including Nature, Stem Cell Reports, Environmental Science and Technology, and Journal of Hazardous Materials, prompting international peer attention. Overall, Prof. Faiola has published more than 50 papers and been cited more than 1350 times. In the future, he will keep using stem cells to investigate the adverse effects on development of several different kinds of chemicals, including environmental pollutants, drugs, food additives, and cosmetics.