The Polo laboratory is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern cell identity, in particular pluripotency and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Being able to reprogram any specific mature cellular program into a pluripotent state and from there back into any other particular cellular program provides a unique tool to dissect the molecular and cellular events that permit the conversion of one cell type to another. Moreover, iPS cells and the reprogramming technology are of great interest in pharmaceutical and clinical settings, since the technology can be use to generate animal and cellular models for the study of various diseases as well in the future to provide specific patient tailor made cells for their use in cellular replacement therapies. However, despite being one of the major growing research fields very little is known about the epigenetic and transcriptome changes occurring during this process. 

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Rackham OJ, Firas J, Fang H, Oates ME, Holmes ML, Knaupp AS; FANTOM Consortium, Suzuki H, Nefzger CM, Daub CO, Shin JW, Petretto E, Forrest AR, Hayashizaki Y, Polo JM, Gough J.
A predictive computational framework for direct reprogramming between human cell types.
Nat Genet. 2016 Mar;48(3):331-5. doi: 10.1038/ng.3487. Epub 2016 Jan 18.
Nefzger CM, Jardé T, Rossello FJ, Horvay K, Knaupp AS, Powell DR, Chen J, Abud HE, Polo JM.
A Versatile Strategy for Isolating a Highly Enriched Population of Intestinal Stem Cells.
Stem Cell Reports. 2016 Feb 18. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.01.014. [Epub ahead of print]
Christian M. Nefzger, Sara Alaei, Jose M. Polo
Isolation of reprogramming intermediates during generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic fibroblasts.
MMB (2014) In Press
Robin M Hobbs and Jose M Polo
Reprogramming Can Be a Transforming Experience.
Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Mar 6;14(3):269-71. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.02.003.
Effie Apostolou, Francesco Ferrari, Ryan M Walsh, Ori Bar-Nur, Matthias Stadtfeld, Sihem Cheloufi, Hannah T Stuart, Jose M Polo, Toshiro K Ohsumi, Mark L Borowsky, Peter V Kharchenko, Peter J Park, Konrad Hochedlinger
Genome-wide Chromatin Interactions of the Nanog Locus in Pluripotency, Differentiation, and Reprogramming.
Cell Stem Cell. 2013 Jun 6;12(6):699-712. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2013.04.013. Epub 2013 May 9.
Katerina Hatzi, Yanwen Jiang, Chuanxin Huang, Francine Garrett-Bakelman, , Srividya Bhaskara, Jose M Polo, Matthias Kormaksson, Alexander D MacKerell Jr, Fengtian Xue, Christopher E Mason, Scott W Hiebert, Gilbert G Prive, Leandro Cerchietti, Vivian J Bardwell, Olivier Elemento, Ari Melnick
A Hybrid Mechanism of Action for BCL6 in B Cells Defined by Formation of Functionally Distinct Complexes at Enhancers and Promoters.
Cell Rep. 2013 Aug 15;4(3):578-88. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.016. Epub 2013 Aug 1.
Gurpreet Kaur, Mauro W Costa, Christian M Nefzger , Juan Silva , Jose M Polo, Toby DM Bell and Nicolas Plachta
Quantifying transcription factor diffusion in the living mammalian embryo by photoactivatable FCS .
Nat Comm 2013. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2657
Subhajyoti De, Rita Shaknovich, Markus Riester, Olivier Elemento, Huimin Geng, Matthias Kormaksson, Yanwen Jiang, Bruce Woolcock, Nathalie Johnson, Jose M Polo, Randy Gascoyne, Ari Melnick, and Franziska Michor
Aberration in DNA methylation in B-cell lymphomas has a complex origin and increases with disease severity.
PLoS Genet. 2013;9(1):e1003137. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003137. Epub 2013 Jan 10.
Kelly RD, Rodda AE, Dickinson A, Mahmud A, Nefzger CM, Lee W, Forsythe J, Polo JM, Trounce IA, McKenzie M, Nisbet DR, St John JC.
Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes define gene expression patterns in pluripotent and differentiating embryonic stem cells.
Stem Cells. 2013 Apr;31(4):703-16. doi: 10.1002/stem.1313.
Jose M. Polo, Endre Anderssen, Ryan M. Walsh, Benjamin A. Schwarz, Christian M. Nefzger, Sue Mei Lim, Marti Borkent, Effie Apostolou, Sara Alaei, Jennifer Cloutier, Ori Bar-Nur, Sihem Cheloufi, Matthias Stadtfeld, Maria Eugenia Figueroa, Daisy Robinton, Sridaran Natesan, Ari Melnick, Jinfang Zhu, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Konrad Hochedlinger.
A molecular roadmap of reprogramming somatic cells into iPS cells.
Cell. 2012 Dec 21;151(7):1617-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.11.039.
Polo JM, Liu S, Figueroa ME, Kulalert W, Eminli S, Tan KY, Apostolou E, Stadtfeld M, Li Y, Shioda T, Natesan S, Wagers AJ, Melnick A, Evans T, Hochedlinger K.
Cell type of origin influences the molecular and functional properties of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells
Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Aug;28(8):848-55. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1667. Epub 2010 Jul 19.
Buecker C, Chen HH, Polo JM, Daheron L, Bu L, Barakat TS, Okwieka P, Porter A, Gribnau J, Hochedlinger K, Geijsen N.
A murine ESC-like state facilitates transgenesis and homologous recombination in human pluripotent stem cells
Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jun 4;6(6):535-46. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2010.05.003.
Duy C, Yu JJ, Nahar R, Swaminathan S, Kweon SM, Polo JM, Valls E, Klemm L, Shojaee S, Cerchietti L, Schuh W, Jäck HM, Hurtz C, Ramezani-Rad P, Herzog S, Jumaa H, Koeffler HP, de Alborán IM, Melnick AM, Ye BH, Müschen M.
BCL6 is critical for the development of a diverse primary B cell repertoire
J Exp Med. 2010 Jun 7;207(6):1209-21. doi: 10.1084/jem.20091299. Epub 2010 May 24.
Utikal J and Polo JM*, Stadtfeld M, Maherali N, Kulalert W, Walsh RM, Khalil A, Rheinwald JG, Hochedlinger K. (*:Co- First Author).
Immortalization eliminates a roadblock during cellular reprogramming into iPS cells
Nature. 2009 Aug 27;460(7259):1145-8. doi: 10.1038/nature08285. Epub 2009 Aug 9.