The mature field of stem cell medicine will only bear a limited resemblance to current activities in this arena, and it is an important and intriguing challenge to begin charting the path to this more complex and rich future. After participating in the early stages of development of this field, the central concern of our team of stem cell researchers for the past decade has been the pursuit of aspects of stem cell medicine that seem likely to become of great importance but that are currently relatively unexplored. Examples of areas of research currently pursued include analysis of diseases caused by precursor cell dysfunction, defining the optimal cell for repair of tissue damage, identifying therapeutic approaches that may cause harm and learning how to circumvent such harm, developing the field of stem/progenitor cell physiology, toxicology, cancer cell biology, analysis of the damage caused to the CNS by systemic chemotherapy, and discovery of means of preventing such damage. Central to our work is the integration of findings across disciplines so as to discover broad general principles that enable rapid progress to be made in multiple arenas relevant to the field of stem/progenitor cell biology. Of particular value in this regard has been the discovery of general principles related to the control of the balance between self-renewal and differentiation, a balance that is necessary for the normal function of all stem and progenitor cells, as well as for developing means of expanding cells ex vivo in sufficient numbers for use (e.g., in tissue repair and drug discovery). Discoveries made through this focus on integration across traditional disciplinary boundaries have had implications extending throughout our work on development and disease, and suggest multiple fruitful new avenues for expanding the territory of stem cell biology and stem cell medicine
Han R, Yang YM, Dietrich J, Luebke A, Mayer-Proschel M, Noble M. Systemic 5-fluorouracil treatment causes a syndrome of delayed myelin destruction in the central nervous system. J Biol. 2008;7(4):12. Epub 2008 Apr 22.
Davies JE, Proschel C, Zhang N, Noble M, Mayer-Proschel M, Davies SJ. Transplanted astrocytes derived from BMP- or CNTF-treated glial-restricted precursors have opposite effects on recovery and allodynia after spinal cord injury.
J Biol. 2008 Sep 19;7(7):24. [Epub ahead of print]
Li Z, Dong T, Proschel C, Noble M. Chemically diverse toxicants converge on Fyn and c-Cbl to disrupt precursor cell function. PLoS Biol. 2007 Feb;5(2):e35.