Oxidative stress and telomerase in stem cells

Project Leader(s): Gabriele Saretzki, Majlinda. Lako, D. Hapangama
Sponsors: One project (IPS cells in ligase4 deficiencies) is funded by Leukemia Research (2009-2011, PI M. Lako), the endometrial stem cells are so far funded by Wellbeing of women (2009-2011, PI. D. Hapangama).

We demonstrated previously that embryonic stem cells are well protected against oxidative stress while during differentiation oxidative stress increases and protective mechanisms are downregulated confirming the disposal soma theory of Prof. Tom Kirkwood yet at another level.

We currently extend our analysis of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function to induced pluripotency stem (IPS) cells from various sources as part of a longstanding collaboration with Prof. M. Lako (NESCI). We will characterise the fate of differentiated progeny from IPS cells and use them to model and analyse the consequences of genetic defects from patients, for example with ligase4 deficiency.

In another collaborative project with Dr. D. Hapangama from the University of Liverpool we will investigate the role of telomerase and stem cells in endometriosis and endometrial cancer. This brings together our expertise on oxidative stress and telomerase with the topic of stem cells in various tissues and diseases.


Professor Majlinda Lako
Prof of Stem Cell Science

Dr Gabriele Saretzki
Lecturer in Ageing Research