DAVID MACK, Ph.D
Dr. David Mack is an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Bioengineering and an Investigator in the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington. David is a classically trained geneticist with expertise in developmental and stem cell biology. During his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, he studied how the stem cell microenvironment controls cell fate during mammary gland development.
The Mack laboratory explores stem cell approaches and gene therapies to develop new treatments for neuromuscular diseases. Induced pluripotent stem cell technology is used to generate patient-specific and CRISPR gene-edited stem cells that can undergo directed-differentiation to multiple lineages in culture. Three-dimensional scaffolds are also being employed to further differentiate each cell type into their more mature form. This so called “disease-in-a-dish” approach enables us to study disease mechanisms, and to create novel drug discovery platforms. Drugs identified in this way are likely to work in the patient since the patient’s own cells were used as the screening tool. Diseases being explored include Duchenne muscular dystrophy, X-linked myotubular myopathy, Limb girdle muscular dystrophy, distal arthrogryposis and autistic syndrome disorder.
KEY EXPERTISE AREAS
- Stem cell and gene therapies for neuromuscular diseases
- Disease mechanisms and novel drug discovery platforms based on a patient’s own cells
- Regenerative medicine centering on the interplay between a cell’s genetic program and its microenvironment during lineage commitment