Christopher Malcuit, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Bioengineering Institute
PhD, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
B.S., University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Research & Teaching Interests
Stem Cell Biology; Embryology; Cell Cycle; Cell Therapy
The Stem Cell Niche
Following fertilization, the developmental program of zygotes rapidly takes shape and the ‘stem cell niche’ is established in just the first few days of development. In the laboratory, this niche can be recapitulated in vitro, and cells harvested from these early embryos can be propagated in an undifferentiated state as embryonic stem cells. Maintenance of this phenotype is highly dependent on the presence of key extracellular matrix (ECM) components in order to prevent cellular polarization and to present associated growth factors to the cells. A large part of my research is examines how the ECM signals to mitogenic pathways in stem cells, and to underscore mechanistic discrepancies between these cells and somatic cells. The overall goal of this work is to gain a fundamental understanding of how certain disease states may arise from aberrant ECM chemistry, while keeping an open mind to potential commercial applications of growth surfaces.
Cellular Identity, Cell Therapy, and Tissue Regeneration
A major hindrance in cellular replacement therapy lies in the inability of donor cells to integrate with diseased or damaged host tissue. One area of our research is to modulate the expression of pro-regenerative classes of ECM components of target cells without alteration of cellular identity. Through modification of growth surface chemistry we can ‘prime’ donor cells to not only be more engraftable, but to also contribute to the reestablishment of appropriate tissue architecture. We are currently focused on two indications with immediate applications for this technology: soft tissue wounds such as those seen following acute combat-related injuries, and the second, degenerative diseases of the retina such as age-related macular degeneration.
Cooney MA, Malcuit C, Cheon B, Holland MK, Fissore RA, D'Cruz NT. Species-Specific Differences in the Activity and Nuclear Localization of Murine and Bovine Phospholipase C, Zeta 1. Biol Reprod. 2010 Mar 31.
Lee B, Yoon SY, Malcuit C, Parys JB, Fissore RA. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor 1 degradation in mouse eggs and impact on [Ca2+]i oscillations. J Cell Physiol. 2010 Jan;222(1):238-47.
Malcuit C*, Trask MC*, Santiago L*, Beaudoin E, Tremblay KD, Mager J. Identification of novel oocyte and granulosa cell markers. Gene Expr Patterns. 2009 Sep;9(6):404-10.
Lu B*, Malcuit C*, Wang S*, Girman S, Francis P, Lemieux L, Lanza R, Lund R. Long-term safety and function of RPE from human embryonic stem cells in preclinical models of macular degeneration. Stem Cells. 2009 Sep;27(9):2126-35.
Ross PJ, Beyhan Z, Iager AE, Yoon SY, Malcuit C, Schellander K, Fissore RA, Cibelli JB. Parthenogenetic activation of bovine oocytes using bovine and murine phospholipase C zeta. BMC Dev Biol. 2008 Feb 19;8:16.
Malcuit C, Fissore RA. Activation of fertilized and nuclear transfer eggs. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;591:117-31. Review.
Malcuit C, Maserati M, Takahashi Y, Page R, Fissore RA. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection in the bovine induces abnormal [Ca2+]i responses and oocyte activation. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2006;18(1-2):39-51.
*Denotes Equal Contribution
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Last modified: May 05, 2010 10:55:39