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More about the NIH Stem Cell Unit

Staff of the NIH Stem Cell Unit

The NIH Stem Cell Unit (l-r): Kevin Chen, Kye-Yoon Park, and Barbara Mallon.

To allow scientists to select which lines are most suitable for their intended experiments, the research community has consistently requested that available cell lines be more fully characterized.

To address this important need, the NIH Intramural Research Program has created the NIH Stem Cell Unit (SCU). The SCU has established a database to which hESC lines, adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells may be directly compared. These data give scientists the information they need when choosing individual cell lines for specific projects.

The Unit's main goal is to identify—and share with the research community—the similarities and differences between the hESC lines when subjected to a standardized paradigm.


Chen, K.G., Mallon, B.S., Park, K., Robey, P.G., McKay, R.D.G., Gottesman, M.M., Zheng, W. (2018) "Pluripotent Stem Cell Platforms for Drug Discovery" Trends in Molecular Medicine in press

Jiang, X., Detera-Wadleigh, S.D., Akula, N., Mallon, B.S., Xiao, T., Felsenfeld, G., Gu, X., McMahon, F.J. (2018) "Sodium valproate rescues expression of TRANK1 in iPSC-derived neural cells that carry a genetic variant associated with serious mental illness" Molecular Psychiatry in press

Vallabhaneni, H., Lynch, P.J., Chen, G., Park, K., Liu, Y., Goehe, R., Mallon, B.S., Boehm, M., and Hursh, D.A. (2018) "High Basal Levels of γH2AX in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are Linked to 3 Replication-associated DNA Damage and Repair" Stem Cells in press

Ou, J., Ball, J.M., Luan, Y., Zhao, T., Miyagishima, K.J., Xu, Y., Zhou, H., Chen, J., Merriman, D.K., Xie, Z., Mallon, B.S. and Li, W. (2018) "iPSCs from a Hibernator Provide a Platform for Studying Cold Adaptation and Its Potential Medical Applications" Cell 173(4):851-86

Chen, K.G., Johnson, K.R., McKay, R.D.G., Robey, P.G. (2018) "Concise Review: Conceptualizing Paralogous Stem-Cell Niches and Unfolding Bone Marrow Progenitor Cell Identities." Stem Cells. 36(1):11-21

Chen, K.G., Johnson, K.R., Robey, P.G. (2017) "Mouse Genetic Analysis of Bone Marrow Stem Cell Niches: Technological Pitfalls, Challenges, and Translational Considerations." Stem Cell Reports. 9(5):1343-1358.

Horikawa, I., Park, K.Y., Isogaya, K., Hiyoshi, Y., Li, H., Anami, K., Robles, A.I., Mondal, A.M., Fujita, K., Serrano, M., Harris, C.C. (2017) "Δ133p53 represses p53-inducible senescence genes and enhances the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells." Cell Death and Differentiation 24(6):1017-1028

Nandal, A., Mallon, B., Telugu, B.P. (2017) "Efficient Generation and Editing of Feeder-free IPSCs from Human Pancreatic Cells Using the CRISPR-Cas9 System." Journal of Visualized Experiments (129). doi: 10.3791/56260.

Lin, Y., Linask, K.L., Mallon, B., Johnson, K., Klein, M., Beers, J., Xie, W., Du, Y., Liu, C., Lai, Y., Zou, J., Haigney, M., Yang, H., Rao, M., Chen, G. (2017) "Heparin Promotes Cardiac Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in Chemically Defined Albumin-Free Medium, Enabling Consistent Manufacture of Cardiomyocytes." Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 6(2):527-538.

Chen, K.G. (2016) "The effect of human pluripotent stem cell platforms on preclinical drug development." In: "Stem Cells in Toxicology and Medicine." Editor: Saura C. Sahu, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Published Online: 18 OCT 2016; DOI: 10.1002/9781119135449.ch13

Lee, C-T., Chen, J., Kindberg, A.A., Bendriem, R.M., Spivak, C.E., Williams, M.P., Richie, C.T., Handreck, A., Mallon, B.S., Lupica, C.R., Lin, D-T., Harvey, B.K., Mash, D.C., Freed, W.J. (2016) "CYP3A5 mediates effects of cocaine on human neocorticogenesis: Studies using an in vitro 3D self-organized hPSC model with a single cortex-like unit" Neuropsychopharmacology 42(3):774-784

Bhadriraju, K., Halter, M., Amelot, J., Bajcsy, P., Chalfoun, J., Vandecreme, A., Mallon, B.S. Park, K., Sista, S., Elliott, J.T., Plant, A.L. (2016) "Large-scale time-lapse microscopy of Oct4 expression in human embryonic stem cell colonies" Stem Cell Research 17:122–129

Qin, H., Cho, M., Haso, W., Zhang, L., Tasian, S.K., Htoo Zarni Oo, Neri, G., Lin, Y., Zhou, J., Mallon, B.S., Maude, S., Teachey, D.T., Barrrett, D.M., Orentas, R.J., Daugaard, M., Sorensen, P.H.B., Grupp, S.A., and Fry, T.J. (2015) "Eradication of pre B cell ALL Using Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Expressing T cells Targeting the TSLPR Oncoprotein" Blood 126(5):629-39

Cerbini, T., Funahashi, R., Luo, Y., Liu, C., Park, K., Rao, M., Malik, N., Zou, J. (2015) "Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN)-mediated CLYBL targeting enables enhanced transgene expression and one-step generation of dual reporter human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and neural stem cell (NSC) lines." PLoS One. 10(1):e0116032.

Chen, R.J., Zhang, G., Garfield, S.H., Shi, Y.J., Chen, K.G., Robey, P.G., Leapman, R.D. (2015)
"Variations in Glycogen Synthesis in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells with Altered Pluripotent States." PLoS One. 10(11):e0142554

Lee, C-T., Bendriem, R.M., Kindberg, A.A., Worden, L.T., Williams, M.P., Drgon, T., Mallon, B.S., Harvey, B.K., Richie, C.T., Hamilton, R.S., Chen, J., Errico, S.L., Tsai, S-Y., Uhl, G.R. & Freed, W.J. (2015) "Functional Consequences of 17q21.31/WNT3-WNT9B Amplification in hPSCs with respect to Neural Differentiation" Cell Reports 10(4):616-32

Padmanabhan, R., Chen, K.G., Gottesman, M.M.(2014) "Lost in Translation: Regulation of ABCG2 Expression in Human Embryonic Stem Cells." Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 4. pii: 24230.

Chen, K.G., Hamilton, R.S., Robey, P.G. and Mallon, B.S. (2014) "Alternative cultures for human pluripotent stem cell production, maintenance, and genetic analysis" Journal of Visualized Experiments (89), e51519, doi:10.3791/51519

Phillips, M.D., Kuznetsov, S.A., Cherman, N., Park, K., Chen, K.G., McClendon, B.N., Hamilton, R.S., McKay, R.D.G., Chenoweth, J.G., Mallon, B.S. and Robey, P.G. (2014) "Directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells towards bone and cartilage:  in vitro vs. in vivo Assays" Stem Cells Translational Medicine 3(7): 867-878

Chen, K.G., Mallon, B.S., Johnson, K.R., Hamilton, R.S., McKay, R.D.G. and Robey, P.G. (2014) "Developmental insights from early mammalian embryos and core signaling pathways that influence human pluripotent cell growth and differentiation." Stem Cell Research 12(3):610-621

Chen, K.G., Mallon, B.S., McKay, R.D.G., and Robey, P.G. (2014) "Human pluripotent stem cell culture: Considerations for maintenance, expansion, and therapeutics" Cell Stem Cell 14(1):13–26

Mallon, B.S., Hamilton, R.S., Kozhich, O.A., Johnson, K.R., Fann, Y.C., Rao, M.S. and Robey, P.G. (2014) "Comparison of the molecular profiles of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells of isogenic origin" Stem Cell Research 12(2): 376-386

Mallon, B.S., Chenoweth, J.G., Johnson, K.R., Hamilton, R.S., Tesar, P.J., Yavatkar, A.S., Tyson, L.J., Park, K, Chen, K.G., Fann, Y.C., and McKay, R.D.G. (2013) "StemCellDB: The human pluripotent stem cell database at the National Institutes of Health" Stem Cell Research 10(1): 57-66

Kozhich O.A., Hamilton R.S., and Mallon B.S. (2013) "Standardized generation and differentiation of neural precursor cells from human pluripotent stem cells." Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. 9(4):531-6

Padmanabhan, R., Chen, K.G., Gillet, J-P., Handley, M., Mallon, B.S., Hamilton, R.S., Park, K., Varma, S., Mehaffey, M.G., Robey, P.G., McKay, R.D.G., and Gottesman, M.M. (2012) "Regulation and expression of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCG2 in human embryonic stem cells" Stem Cells 30(10):2175-87.

Chen, K.G., Mallon, B.S., Hamilton, R.S., Kozhich, O., Park, K., Hoeppner, D.J., Robey, P.G., and McKay, R. D.G. (2012) "Non-colony type monolayer culture of human embryonic stem cells" Stem Cell Research 9(3):237-248>

Hambright, D., Park, K.Y., Brooks, M., McKay, R., Swaroop, A., Nasonkin, I.O. (2012) "Long-term survival and differentiation of retinal neurons derived from human embryonic stem cell lines in un-immunosuppressed mouse retina." Molecular Vision.;18:920-36

Lee, S.B., Seo, D., Choi, D., Park, K.Y., Holczbauer, A., Marquardt, J.U., Conner, E.A., Factor, V.M., Thorgeirsson, S.S. (2012) "Contribution of hepatic lineage stage-specific donor memory to the differential potential of induced mouse pluripotent stem cells." Stem Cells. 30(5):997-1007

Yu, Y.D., Kim, K.H., Lee, S.G., Choi, S.Y., Kim, Y.C., Byun, K.S., Cha, I..H, Park, K.Y., Cho, C.H., Choi, D.H. (2011) "Hepatic differentiation from human embryonic stem cells using stromal cells." Journal of Surgical Research 170(2):e253-61.

The International Stem Cell Initiative. (2007) "Characterization of human embryonic stem cell lines by the International Stem Cell Initiative" Nature Biotechnology 25(7):803-16

Mallon, B.S., Park, K.Y., Chen, K.G., Hamilton, R., and McKay, R.D.G. (2006) "Toward xeno-free culture of human embryonic stem cells" International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 38 (7): 1063-1075


NIH Stem Cell Unit Citations