The Bhatia Research Program focuses on understanding how decisions are made in human adult (somatic) and pluripotent stem cells. These cellular decisions include changing of cell type A to cell type B (differentiation or reprogramming), initiation of cell death (apoptosis), or transformation to a cancerous state. We consider all of these changes as CELL FATE decisions. How this works and how this is governed for individual stem cells forms the core question of our research.
More recently, our program studies influences on cell fate decisions not only at the level of the cell itself (cell autonomous), but also at the level of the local cellular environment (non-cell autonomous). We now have several projects that compare normal and cancerous stem cells at the cellular and molecular level towards gaining insight into the process of “cancer transformation”.
To assure success, the Bhatia Research Program collaborates with colleagues, and recruits and develops trainees from all sectors and backgrounds who share similar research aspirations and goals of understanding human stem cell fate decisions and applying this knowledge to medical practice to impact patients. In this way, we maintain a fresh and innovative approach that continually adopts alterative perspectives from other fields, and novel tools necessary for progressing our research agenda effectively and rapidly, while maintaining the highest international peer reviewed standards.