Hynek Wichterle is an assistant professor holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, Neurology, and Neuroscience at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He received his M.S. degree (1993) from Charles University in Prague and his Ph.D. degree (2000) from The Rockefeller University in New York. His research focuses on developmental programs underlying specification of neuronal diversity in the developing spinal cord. His lab developed methods for directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into spinal motor neurons in a manner that recapitulates normal embryonic development. Using this technology he characterized molecular programs that control generic and subtype specific motor neuron identity. Together with Dr Christopher Henderson he co-directs Project A.L.S./Jenifer Estess Laboratory for Stem Cell Research that applies the embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell technologies towards the study and development of new treatments for motor neuron diseases including ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He is a member of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease and of the Stem Cell Initiative at Columbia University.
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