When you have a chronic allergic disorder, it’s easy to blame the trigger — an early pollen season or furry pet — but the real culprit is your own immune system. Designed to attack foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, T cells are the immune system’s watchdog to recognize serious threats. But sometimes T cells can be too zealous and set in motion a signaling cascade that can cause allergic reactions to everyday things and even attack your body’s healthy cells by mistake.
The term “stem cell,” stammzellen, was first used in 1868 by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel to describe the original, unicellular progenitor from which Dr. Haekel supposed all multicellular plant and animal life might have descended.
Stem cells have the unique ability to develop, or differentiate, into other kinds of cells in the body. Researchers have now manipulated human stem cells so that they produce the types of brain cells that play important roles in neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.
The Gadue Laboratory studies human pancreatic and hematopoietic development and associated diseases using human pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.