Molly Pleasants Lowndes

Molly Pleasants Lowndes

Assistant professor, External Postdoc

I am interested in how embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintain pluripotency through an indefinite number of cell divisions, a process known as self-renewal. Pluripotency is supported intrinsically by a core of transcription factors, with Oct4 being one of the best characterized. Importantly, dynamic endogenous levels of Oct4 maintains ESC pluripotency but genetic over-expression promotes differentiation. By applying proteomic approaches to ESCs harboring post-translational Oct4 reporters, I hope to decipher the role Oct4 plays in deciding if a division will be self-renewing or differentiation promoting.

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