Dr Ge Guo
Senior Research Fellow
+44 (0) 1392 72 3042
Living Systems Institute T02.10
Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD
My research is focussed on mammalian pluripotent stem cells and cell fate transition during early embryo development. Key research areas in the lab include:
- Understanding the developmental plasticity of human naïve stem cells.
- Modeling early human embryo development ex vivo by reconstruction of embryo structures.
- Establishing pluripotent stem cells from various mammalian species and elucidation of shared and distinct gene regulatory features (collaborative with Professor Austin Smith)
We are a newly established group seeking enthusiastic researchers to work together. We have postdoc and potential PhD positions available. If you are interested in pluripotency and human development please do contact us.
My main research is centred on human naïve pluripotency and cell fate transition. During my post-doc research I have developed methods to establish human naïve pluripotent stem cells from embryos, conventional human stem cells and from somatic cells. Importantly, the human naïve pluripotent stem cells we generated are closely related to resident cells in the early human embryo and are genetically stable. My current research shows that unlike mouse embryonic stem cells, human naïve stem cells have the unique potential to differentiate into all cell types in an embryo including the extra-embryonic lineages. My research group will continue the study on human naïve pluripotency to understand the developmental plasticity and the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Furthermore, by harnessing the unique extraembryonic differentiation potential we aim to establish a synthetic human blastocyst model. This will enable application of the latest molecular, genetic and biophysical approaches to gain knowledge and understanding of human-specific features of early embryo development.
Guo G*., Stirparo J., Strawbridge S., Yang J., Clarke J. , Li M. , Myers S. , Ozel, B, Nichols J., Smith A., Human naive epiblast cells possess unrestricted lineage potency. BioRxiv, preprint (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.04.283218)
Stirparo J.,Smith A. Guo G. Cancer-Related Mutations Are Not Enriched in Naive Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell, 28:164-169.e2, (2021)
Bredenkamp, N., Yang, J., Clarke, J., Stirparo, G.G., von Meyenn, F., Dietmann, S., Baker, D., Drummond, R., Ren, Y., Li, D., Wu, C., Rostovskaya, M., Eminli-Meissner, S., Smith, A., Guo, G., 2019. Wnt inhibition facilitates rna-mediated reprogramming of human somatic cells to naive pluripotency. Stem Cell Reports.
Bredenkamp N, Stirparo G.G., Nichols J, Smith A, and Guo G. The cell-surface marker sushi containing domain 2 facilitates establishment of human naive pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports 12, 1212-1222 (2019).
Stirparo GG, Boroviak T, Guo G, Nichols J, Smith A, Bertone P. Integrated analysis of single-cell embryo data yields a unified transcriptome signature for the human pre-implantation epiblast. Development 145(3):07 Feb 2018
Guo G*, Meyenn F, Rostovskaya M, Clarke J, Dietmann S, Baker D, Sahakyan A, Myers S, Bertone P, Reik W, Plath K, Austin Smith. Epigenetic resetting of human pluripotency. Development. 144: 2748-2763. (2017). *Co-corresponding
Guo G, Meyenn F, Santos F, Chen Y, Reik W, Bertone P, Smith A and Nichols J. Naïve pluripotent stem cells derived directly from isolated cells of the human inner cell mass. Stem Cell Reports 6: 437-46 (2016).
Takashima Y, Guo G, Loos R, Nichols J, Ficz G, Krueger F, Oxley D, Santos F, Clarke J, Mansfield W, Reik W, Bertone P, Smith A. Resetting transcription factor control circuitry toward ground-state pluripotency in human. Cell 158: 1254-69 (2014).
LSI Interdisciplinary PhD Programme Project
Bioengineering naïve stem cell self-organisation to recapitulate the first steps in human embryo development
Supervisor 1: Ge Guo
Supervisor 2: Stefano Pagliara
This project is a fusion of stem cell biology with bioengineering and physics of living systems. Human naïve stem cells have the capacity to produce all types of cells including extra embryonic lineages. In this project we aim to control precisely the first differentiation steps so as to produce a synthetic blastocyst comprising three distinct lineages in a specific topological organisation. To achieve this a combination of chemical and environmental cues will be applied to stem cells confined within micro wells in a microfluidic device. This will permitt automated handling of the synthetic blastocysts. The similarity of the synthetic blastocysts to in utero embryos will be evaluated by morphometric and molecular criteria. Further developmental potential will be investigated by extended culture. Finally, the effects of genetic and environmental perturbations on the self-organisation process will be interrogated by real-time imaging and single cell ‘omics.
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