Laertis Ikonomou Laboratory

progenitor cells.

Areas of Interest

  • Stem Cells/Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Cell and Tissue Biomechanics
  • Omics

The Laertis Ikonomou research program is in the areas of pluripotent stem cell and developmental biology with emphasis on study and in vitro derivation of foregut and neural crest progenitors. Understanding the establishment and reconfiguration of gene regulatory networks in progenitor cells during early tissue development provides valuable insights into their cell fate decisions. Researchers in Iknomou's lab seek to apply information generated from embryonic studies to the development of robust, reproducible and efficient protocols for in vitro differentiation of stem cells, with the ultimate goal of developing cell-based replacement therapies. To achieve these research ends, researchers use mouse genetic models, human pluripotent stem cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells, and ex vivo culture of embryonic progenitors as well as techniques such as bulk and single cell RNA-Seq and ATAC-Seq. The lab also investigates the role of biomechanical determinants, such as substratum elastic modulus and ECM composition, on lung and thyroid cell fate decisions, gleaning information from in vivo studies of the respective developing tissues.