Balaji Rao, PhD - North Carolina State University
Placental models from human pluripotent stem cells
Dr. Balaji Rao is focused on manipulating molecular interactions through engineered proteins to understand and ultimately control cellular processes. Stem cells are “master” cells that can self-renew as well as develop into many different cell types. Stem cells have great potential in regenerative medicine. They can also be used as a basis to develop model systems for drug evaluation. One of the major challenges in this area is to understand and control the molecular decisions that control stem cell fate. Dr. Rao's approach involves the use of engineered proteins to quantitatively study and ultimately control molecular interactions that govern stem cell fate.
Every year, the Stem Cell Engineering Center welcomes approximately six keynote speakers to Georgia Tech to discuss current advances in stem cell engineering. The center's mission is to cultivate researchers from the basic sciences along with investigators from various engineering disciplines to address key hurdles and technological challenges currently impeding the development of stem cell therapeutics and diagnostics. These seminars are open to all faculty or trainees interested in stem cell research.