Research in the Tse Laboratory focuses on the biology of stem cell development and the use of stem cells in treating various childhood disorders. In the past several decades, blood and marrow stem cell transplantation has been demonstrated to be a very successful treatment for many blood diseases in childhood like leukemia and aplastic anemia. It has recently been shown that these stem cells might also possess an astonishing degree of developmental plasticity, being able to develop into other tissues unrelated to blood, such as muscle and nerve tissues. This finding raises the exciting possibility that blood and marrow stem cell transplantation can be developed into a cure for childhood diseases such as muscular dystrophy. To help realize this possibility, the Tse Laboratory studies the molecular pathways that are involved in the development of primitive stem cells into the mature blood and muscle cells. Using a mouse model of stem cell transplantation, they are looking for ways to enhance the development of blood stem cells into muscle cells after transplantation. They analyze the properties of blood and muscle stem cells by flow cytometry and establish new functional assays to test their developmental potential. They manipulate in mouse embryonic stem cells genes that are important in muscle formation and follow the maturation of these stem cells into muscle cells. It is hoped that the results from their research will help establish stem cell therapy as a clinically useful branch of regenerative medicine.