Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, School of Medicine, Queen’s University –
Harnessing Cell-Surface Glyco-Engineering to Enhance Stem-Cell Therapies
Stem cell therapies are promising treatments for various infections and diseases.
To be effective, stem cells must be delivered to specific tissue such as bone marrow. Unfortunately, many stem cells lack the required carbohydrates (known as glycans) on their surface to be efficiently directed to bone marrow.
Scientists also do not understand how glycans bind to a protein called E-selectin, which helps direct cells to a particular target (like bone marrow).
In this project, we will:
- Use new chemical biology approaches to display the glycan structures on cells, to discover which ones bind to E-selectin, and
- Determine which glycan structures are involved in the first step in cell-delivery to bone
This will help us engineer stem cells with new functions to improve their delivery to bone marrow, and make stem cell therapies more effective.