Burhan Gharaibeh, PhD
Stem Cell Research Center
Bridgeside Point II, Suite 206
450 Technology Drive
Tel. 412-648-2716 Fax. 412-648-4066
Education and formal training:
In our lab, muscle derived stem cells (MDSCs) are isolated from the skeletal muscles of the mouse by a modification of the preplate technique. We have several projects that involve using these stem cells to regenerate and repair injured skeletal muscles in Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model (MDX mouse), cardiac muscle, and bone marrow. Donor cells are either engineered with reporter genes before they are injected, or they are injected without engineering. My research interest is how to best track non-engineered (normal) adult stem cells in recipient tissues, see if they proliferate, and check if they develop any chromosomal abnormalities, or if they fuse with host nuclei.
One of the most common techniques used is the fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). In this method, DNA sequences from the mouse X or Y chromosome are amplified by degenerate oligonucleotide primer PCR (DOP-PCR), tagged with a fluorophore like FITC or an antigen like digoxigenin or biotin. This sequence (probe or paint) is hybridized overnight at 37 °C to the target cells. On day 2, the slides are washed and the hybridization signal is detected by antibodies conjugated to fluorescent molecules. Typically, we engraft male stem cells into female mice. Engraftment site is checked for donor cells by searching for the Y chromosomal paint signal that appears in one color and the female recipient tissue which shows two X chromosome signals in another color.
Other research projects include the use of G-banding and C-banding techniques to examine the effect of culture conditions on stem cells. Chromosomal numerical and structural abnormalities are recorded and metaphases are photographed and analyzed.
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I have worked on the systematics, distribution and zoogeography of mammals of Tunisia, North Africa. The work that I have done on the systematics of Tunisian mammals was based on field work and a huge museum collection made in 1970s by Drs. E. L. Cockrum, Robert Baker, Tom and Pamela Vaughan. The collection is housed at the Natural Science Research Laboratory. I also spent two months (summer, 1996) doing field work in Tunisia surveying mammals and their habitats as well as collecting representative tissue and chromosomal material.
Here is a collection of bookmarks that I found very useful: Burhan's bookmarks