The Center for Cell Fate and Therapeutics

The Center for Cell Fate and Therapeutics is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental program focused on understanding the mechanisms that maintain cell identity, fate and plasticity and how derangement of these processes lead to disease. This knowledge will be applied to preserve human health.

Using cutting-edge basic, clinical and translational science the Center will pursue the following general goals:

  1. Generate fundamental new knowledge on cell fate and plasticity.
  2. Accelerate the transfer of knowledge to excel in clinical practice and maintain the health of individuals and their communities.
  3. Collaborate with the private sector, government and industry to develop new therapies and tools.
  4. Educate the new cadre of graduate students and physician-scientists.
  5. Engage our communities and leaders in implementing novel educational -health practices throughout the State and globally.
  6. Develop international partnerships to enhance our global reach.

Areas of endeavor

The Center for Cell Fate and Therapeutics is devoted to understand how cells acquire and maintain their identity, how cells organize to form healthy tissues and maintain homeostasis, and how maladaptive changes in cell fate result in disease.

The center will also undertake a systems biology-public health approach to understand how environmental, cultural and socio-economic patterns result in epigenetic changes driving health disparities and individual responses.

Furthermore, the center will use the knowledge gained at the bench and clinics to develop diagnostic and prognostic markers, therapeutic strategies and preventive measures to benefit individual patients and their community.

As shown in Figure 1, efforts directed at understanding and manipulating how cells acquire and maintain their identity will be crucial to prevent and cure disease. A few examples of the disorders that can benefit from this knowledge are shown below. Ultimately, knowledge gained from the studies described herein will lead to novel biomarkers and individualized, targeted, molecular and cell therapies to maintain the health of our communities. Experimental approaches will range from examination of epigenetic and molecular mechanisms that govern cell lineage and fate to organismal function and population studies during development and disease. Therefore, the scientific inquiry is not limited to molecules and cells and exploits such knowledge to improve the lives of individuals and their community at a local and global scale.


Research Themes