Postdoctoral Research Award 2013
Amar Singh, postdoctoral research associate in biochemistry and molecular biology, has been a highly productive researcher since joining Stephen Dalton’s lab. His research interests focus on human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells. While these fundamental building blocks of life show great promise as potential therapies for a number of diseases, disorders and traumas, scientists do not yet fully understand the mechanisms that govern them. Singh has made great strides in the field’s understanding of elements controlling two critical functions: stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Self-renewal refers to a stem cell’s ability to divide continuously in a culture. Differentiation refers to its ability to form all different cell types. Singh’s work describes a new paradigm for how different signals interact to promote self-renewal. Furthermore, using a new and powerful system called a fluorescent-ubiquitinated cell cycle indicator, or FUCCI, Singh monitors stem cell transitions and is able to better understand how the cell cycle in human pluripotent stem cells regulates self-renewal and differentiation.