UCLA Spotlight

Kathrin Plath, Stem Cell Research

  • Published Apr 15, 2009 8:00 AM

On the front lines of fighting disease, you'll find Kathrin Plath, UCLA assistant professor of biological chemistry and a pioneer in the fast-moving field of "reprogramming" adult cells to function as stem cells. Her groundbreaking 2007 research, which turned ordinary mouse skin cells into cells that are nearly identical to embryonic stem cells, created a stir in scientific circles. "This is the very close promise of this technology right now, because it opens up the study of diseases that could not have been studied a few years ago," says Dr. Plath. The stem cell scientist and her Bruin colleagues are now working on reprogramming human cells — and the implications of that work are literally life-changing.