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Cambridge Cardiovascular



We study pluripotent stem cells. These are cell lines derived from early embryos that retain the potential to generate all somatic cell types. Our goal is to understand how they maintain this broad potency and how they transition into lineage specification and commitment. We compare pluripotent cells from different mammals to elucidate common principles and species-specific adaptations


Key publications: 

Resetting transcription factor control circuitry toward ground-state pluripotency in human. 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. Cell. 2014 Sep 11;158(6):1254-69.

Otx2 and Oct4 drive early enhancer activation during embryonic stem cell transition from naive pluripotency. Yang SH, Kalkan T, Morissroe C, Marks H, Stunnenberg H, Smith A, Sharrocks AD. Cell Rep. 2014 Jun 26;7(6):1968-81.

Defining an essential transcription factor program for naïve pluripotency. Dunn SJ, Martello G, Yordanov B, Emmott S, Smith AG. Science. 2014 Jun 6;344(6188):1156-60.

Genetic exploration of the exit from self-renewal using haploid embryonic stem cells. Leeb M, Dietmann S, Paramor M, Niwa H, Smith A. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Mar 6;14(3):385-93.

Identification of the missing pluripotency mediator downstream of leukaemia inhibitory factor. Martello G, Bertone P, Smith A. EMBO J. 2013 Oct 2;32(19):2561-74.

Direct reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts to cardiomyocyte-like cells using Yamanaka factors on engineered poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels. Smith AW, Hoyne JD, Nguyen PK, McCreedy DA, Aly H, Efimov IR, Rentschler S, Elbert DL. Biomaterials. 2013 Sep;34(28):6559-71.

Exit from pluripotency is gated by intracellular redistribution of the bHLH transcription factor Tfe3. Betschinger J, Nichols J, Dietmann S, Corrin PD, Paddison PJ, Smith A. Cell. 2013 Apr 11;153(2):335-47.

Naive pluripotency is associated with global DNA hypomethylation. Leitch HG, McEwen KR, Turp A, Encheva V, Carroll T, Grabole N, Mansfield W, Nashun B, Knezovich JG, Smith A, Surani MA, Hajkova P. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2013 Mar;20(3):311-6.

Professor Austin  Smith

Contact Details

01223 760233


Person keywords: 
stem cells