2018 AGA – Rome Foundation Research Award Recipient
Principle Investigator: Faranak Fattahi, PhD
Asst. Professional Researcher
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
As an undergraduate and master’s student at Royan Institute in Iran, Dr. Fattahi advanced the hepatocyte differentiation method in her laboratory and showed that hepatocytes differentiated from patient PSCs could recapitulate familial hypercholesterolemia phenotypes. She also developed a system to differentiate hPSCs into cardiac lineages and built genetic tools to enrich cardiac progenitor populations for proteomic studies. During her PhD, she developed new strategies to derive several lineages of the human PNS from pluripotent stem cells and demonstrated their potential for regenerative applications and drug discovery. These lineages include enteric neurons, autonomic neurons, sensory neurons and Schwann cells. Dr. Fattahi took advantage of this robust paradigm for proof of concept studies that led to the identification of potential therapeutics in several peripheral neuropathies.