Cellular reprogramming, also called transdifferentiation is the process which change the fate of a defined cell type to another one. To reprogram a cell, researcher use a cocktail of defined transcription factors that induce changes in the molecular and genetic state of the cell. However they have to start with a big number of transcription factor and then reduce it. Using a motif based prediction algorithm and graph theory as well as a genetic algorithm, we constructed the gene regulatory network and scored factors to predict the importance of each of them in the reprogramming process. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron degenerative disease poorly understood. Motor neuron normally form Neuro Muscular Junction with myotube, and that junction seem to be implicated in ALS. Here we propose a new in vitro coculture system of human embryonic stem cell derived motor neuron and chicken myotubes. That system allows study of the Neuro Muscular Junction formation and might lead to a better under standing of ALS as well as drug screen. We also propose an in vivo model to study the behavior of motor neuron injected in the neural tube of a chicken embryo.
You can download the thesis at here: M1-Thesis
This work was done at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, in Cambridge, MA, USA