May 31, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Knoepfler stem cell videos & others on YouTube

Knoepfler and Doudna interviewed by Gwen Ifil on the possibility of CRISPR babies.
Knoepfler and Doudna interviewed by Gwen Ifil on the possibility of CRISPR babies.

Over the years I’ve done a variety of videos that ended up on YouTube and while most of these were stem cell videos, some deal with other important topics such as CRISPR of human embryos.

You can see an image from a PBS interview video at left that was particularly memorable (more below).

In this post I include links to these videos and short summaries of what went into them. I’m planning to include many more new videos in the future.

The above video was one of the first videos I did. It was filmed and put together by the California Stem Cell Agency, better known as CIRM. Here’s a summary of the topic I covered:

“One hallmark of embryonic stem cells is that they cause a particular type of tumor called a teratoma. Stem cell researchers must learn how to prevent these tumors before any transplantation-based therapy can be successful.”

Back when this was filmed I had a CIRM grant to study how and why the cells form tumors and to help understand ways of preventing those tumors from forming. My lab and I are still very interested in the relationship between stem cells and cancer.

In 2017 I gave another stem cell talk (above) at the Future of Genomic Medicine Meeting in LaJolla on using induced pluripotent stem cells (aka IPS cells) as a tool for disease modeling. It was around that time I go far more interesed in brain organoids made from IPS cells, an area my lab continues to study. You can see the video above. It’s one of my favorite stem cell videos I’ve done.

While not exactly in the stem cell videos category, this clip of a Gwen Ifil interview of me and Jennifer Doudna on potential heritable use of CRISPR in humans was very memorable for me. I got to meet Gwen Ifil and sort of meet Dr. Doudna too by video at least. The video is entitled, “2015’s biggest breakthrough could deliver designer babies.”

In 2014 I was interviewed by Scott Syphax on Studio Sacramento about the promise of stem cells and also about the future of CIRM. I’m guessing you notice something different about me in this video. I am 100% bald. The reason is that the day before I had done a head shaving fund raiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds research for childhood cancers. I’ve had support from them over the years and try to give back.

I’ve also done a variety of other video, mostly stem cell videos, that are on YouTube, which you can find here.

And finally, you may enjoy my TED talk (TEDxVienna) on CRISPR in humans and designer babies. It has almost 1.5 million views as of May 2020.