Vittorio Sebastiano

Vittorio Sebastiano, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Director, Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Core Facility, Stanford Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cells Research and Education; Director, Transgenic, Knockout and Tumor Model Center, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine


Research Description: Dr. Sebastiano’s research group is focused on understanding human reprogramming with the goal to use patient specific pluripotent stem cells to dissect the principles development, and to model and treat genetic and degenerative diseases by establishing clinically relevant stem cell-based platforms. He has contributed to examples of gene therapy using specific genome modification of induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients affected by genetic diseases and implemented GMP-compatible platforms for the generation of clinically relevant cell products. His research interests also focus on developing different tools, models and assays to investigate human embryonic development. For example, he has discovered novel members of a class of human-specific long non-coding RNAs derived from retroviral sequences and shown that they are essential for the achievement of pluripotency both in vivo and in vitro. He also developed the first in silico map of blastocyst maturation that allowed for the identification of novel factors that are instrumental to the formation of a pluripotent epiblast in the human blastocysts. He has also contributed to understanding mouse gametogenesis and epigenetics regulating early embryonic development, including pre-implantation and post-implanation development with embryos obtained by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, a technique that he helped pioneer. Dr. Sebastiano directs the Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Core Facility in the Stanford Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cells Research, a facility used by multiple members of the SDRC. He also directs the Transgenic, Knockout and Tumor Model Center, the central Stanford transgenic mouse core facility. While affiliated by the Cancer Institute, this core is used by many Stanford investigators not in the Cancer Institute, including DRC members. He has also collaborated with members of the SDRC to optimize CRISPR/Cas9-based methods to generate Cre recombinase-sensitive alleles of specific genes in mice.


Selected relevant publications (Stanford DRC Members in BOLD):

1.     Sebastiano V, Maeder ML, Angstman JF, Haddad B, Khayter C, Yeo DT, Goodwin MJ, Hawkins JS, Ramirez CL, Batista LF, Artandi SE, Wernig M, Joung JK. In situ genetic correction of the sickle cell anemia mutation in human induced pluripotent stem cells using engineered zinc finger nucleases. Stem Cells 29: 1717-26, 2011.

2.     Sebastiano V, Zhen HH, Haddad B, Bashkirova E, Melo SP, Wang P, Leung TL,Siprashvili Z, Tichy A, Li J, Ameen M, Hawkins J, Lee S, Li L, Schwertschkow A, Bauer G, Lisowski L, Kay MA, Kim SK, Lane AT, Wernig M, Oro AE. Human COL7A1-corrected induced pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Science Translational Medicine 6: 264ra163, 2014.

3.     Sebastiano V*, Durruthy-Durruthy J, Wossidlo M, Cepeda D, Cui J, Grow EJ, Davila J, Mall M, Wong W, Wysocka J, Au KF and Reijo Pera RA. A novel primate-specific noncoding RNA modulates human embryo- and pluripotent stem cell fate.  Nature Genetics 48:44-52, 2016. * Corresponding Author

4.     Durruthy-Durruthy J, Wossidlo M, Pai S, Takahashi Y, Kang G, Omberg L, Chen B, Nakauchi H, Reijo Pera R, Sebastiano V. Spatiotemporal Reconstruction of the Human Blastocyst by Single-Cell Gene-Expression Analysis Informs Induction of Naive Pluripotency. Dev Cell 38:100-15, 2016.