David Russell’s laboratory is studying the genetic manipulation of stem cells. In particular, viral vectors are used to both introduce genes and modify cellular genes in several types of stem cells. This includes research on genetic diseases that may someday be treated with genetically modified “adult” stem cells, as well as the genetic engineering of human pluripotent stem cells. Over the last decade, Dr. Russell’s laboratory has developed a novel method for specifically changing chromosomal genes in human stem cells with adeno-associated virus vectors that is far more efficient than other techniques. Research is under way with human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to make them suitable for clinical use, including the derivation of universal donor cells and the correction of disease-causing mutations in patient-specific stem cells. Foamy virus vectors are being used to deliver genes to hematopoietic stem cells and treat genetic diseases. The laboratory also studies the mechanisms and consequences of vector integration.
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Fred Hutch | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology (ISB)| Center for Infectious Disease Research