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Hynek  Wichterle
Hynek Wichterle, MS, Ph.D.


Address: 630 West 168th Street P&S 14-401G New York NY 10032
Phone: 212-342-3929
Fax:
E-mail:

hw350@cumc.columbia.edu

Education and Training:
MS 1993, Charles University
Ph.D. 2000, Rockefeller University
Affiliations:
bullet  Pathology and Cell Biology; Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies; Neurobiology
Training Activities:
bullet  Department of Genetics and Development
Research Summary:
(800 words, max)
Cell Specification & Differentiation; Neural Degeneration & Repair; Stem Cell Biology
Current Research:
My lab developed efficient methods for differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into spinal motor neurons and interneurons in a process that closely recapitulates normal embryonic development. This provides a unique opportunity to analyze cell differentiation (conversion of a pluripotent cell to defined postmitotic neurons) at a molecular level and to probe formation of spinal microcircuits in co-cultures of motor neurons and interneurons in vitro. We actively map transcriptional programs that control cell fate specification by analyzing transcription factor binding sites, chromatin modifications and structure using genome-wide approaches (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, chromatin conformation analysis). Unlimited access to spinal cord cell types also provides a platform for modeling motor neuron degenerative disease such as ALS and for the development of cell based drug screens in search of new treatments that promote motor neuron survival.

Publications:
(6 max)
1. Wichterle, H., Lieberam, I., Porter, J., and Jessell, T. : (2002) Directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells into motor neurons.  Cell  110: 385-397

2. Novitch*, B. G., Wichterle*, H., Jessell, T. M., and Sockanathan, S: (2003) A requirement for retinoic acid-mediated transcriptional activation in ventral neural patterning and motor neuron specification.  Neuron   40: 81-95

3. Dimos, J.T., Rodolfa, K.T., Niakan, K.K., Weisenthal, L.M., Mitsumoto, H., Chung, W., Croft, G.F., Saphier, G., Leibel, R., Goland, R., Wichterle, H., Henderson, C.E., and Eggan, K., : (2008) Induced pluripotent stem cells generated from patients with ALS can be differentiated into motor neurons..  Science  321(5893): 1218-21

4. Peljto, M., Dasen, J.S., Mazzoni, E.O., Jessell, T.M., and Wichterle, H: (2010) Functional diversity of ESC-derived motor neuron subtypes revealed through intraspinal transplantation.  Cell Stem Cell   7: 355-366

5. Mazzoni, E.O., Mahony, S., Closser, M., Morrison, C.A., Nedelec, S., Williams, D.J., An, D., Gifford, D.K., and Wichterle, H.: (2013) Synergistic binding of transcription factors to cell-specific enhancers programs motor neuron identity.  Nature neuroscience   16: 1219-1227

6. 13. Mazzoni, E.O., Mahony, S., Peljto, M., Patel, T., Thornton, S.R., McCuine, S., Reeder, C., Boyer, L.A., Young, R.A., Gifford, D.K., and Wichterle, H. : (2013) Saltatory remodeling of Hox chromatin in response to rostrocaudal patterning signals.  Nature neuroscience   16: 1191-1198

URL for lab page:
 http://biology.columbia.edu/people/wichterle

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