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Sakaguchi Lab: Bioengineering Brain and Tissue Repair

Sakaguchi with students in lab

Donald Sakaguchi

Morrill Professor in the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology; Director of Biology and Genetics Undergraduate Programs

About Dr. Sakaguchi

In this lab, we believe that women's rights are human rights, love is love, science is real, black lives matter, we are all immigrants, diversity makes us stronger, kindness is everything


Interested in working in the Sakaguchi Lab? Positions may be open for Postdoctoral fellows, Graduate students, or Undergraduate research assistants. The Sakaguchi Lab at Iowa State University is dedicated to promoting a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community for all persons without regard to ethnicity, race, creed, cultural background, gender identity, national or native origin, physical ability, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation, and recognizes that all these vast diversities exist among, and benefit our community.

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Research in the Sakaguchi lab is focused on developing experimental strategies for brain and tissue rescue and repair. As a potential therapy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and injury, stem cells have been proposed as unique sources of transplantable cells to provide neuroprotection and to replace degenerating neurons and glial cells.

This strategy is used to develop novel methods for neuroprotection and neuroregeneration using transplantation of multipotent stem cells [mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem/progenitor cells] genetically engineered to release neurotrophic factors with a future goal towards autologous transplantation to treat nervous system injury and disease. Engineering stem cells ex vivo for neural repair strategies may ultimately provide a reliable means of long-term delivery of therapeutic factors.

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