TeSlaa, Tara (2012-2015)


Tara is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  She joined the training program in 2012. Her research mentor is Dr. Michael Teitell.  She received a B.S. degree in 2007 from St. Peter’s College. 

Mentor: Dr. Michael Teitell

Research project:


Pluripotent stem cells are defined by their capacity for self renewal and their ability to differentiate into all three germ layers. For this reason human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are of therapeutic interest for cell replacement therapies and tissue engineering.  hPSCs have different biosynthetic and metabolic demands than differentiated cells and recently have been shown to be more reliant on energy produced by glycolysis rather than by oxidative phosphorylation.  Additionally, epigenetic regulation of pluripotency may depend on metabolites acting as enzymatic cofactors.  The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle regulates levels of many of these important metabolites while feeding NADH and FADH2 into the electron transport chain to make ATP.  My research focuses on how intermediate metabolites participate in the epigenetic control of pluripotency.