Research and Interests
Dr. Graf has a long-standing interest in the mechanisms of transdifferentiation, i.e. the direct conversion from one cell type to another. Using tools and methods developed by his group based on the direct conversion of B cells into macrophages, Dr. Graf is studying how the transcription factor C/EBPα activates the macrophage gene expression program, and concomitantly silences the B cell program. Graf is also interested in how C/EBPα collaborates with pluripotency factors in the generation of induced pluripotent cells. His work enhances the understanding of normal differentiation and its aberrations in blood cell cancers, and helps designing new protocols for the improved reprogramming of somatic cells that could become useful for tissue replacement and regeneration.
Expertise and Capabilities
Dr. Graf is an expert in the field of cell reprogramming and transdifferentiation. His laboratory has developed a 100% efficient system to convert human and mouse pre-B cells into functional macrophages by an inducible form of the transcription factor C/EBPα. The system serves as a model to study mechanisms of cell fate conversions and can also be used to screen for compounds capable of inducing transdifferentiation with a potential for the treatment of lymphoid neoplasms.
Graf’s group has also developed procedures for the efficient reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells that can become useful in the context of tissue replacement and regenerative medicine.
To know more about the group, please click here.