Photo of Karen A. Westerman,  PhD

Karen A. Westerman, PhD

Brigham And Women's Hospital

Brigham And Women's Hospital
Phone: (617) 525-7143
Fax: (617) 732-6927


kwest@zeus.bwh.harvard.edu

Karen A. Westerman, PhD

Brigham And Women's Hospital

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Assistant Professor, Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School

Research Abstract

A major hurdle for treating muscle disease with cell-based therapies is the lack of homing of therapeutic donor cells to injured muscle. The main focus of my research is to improve upon current cell-based therapies by expressing an adhesion molecule, L-selectin, on the surface of transplanted cells to enhance the homing and migration of these cells to sites of muscle injury. The basic hypothesis is that by expressing an adhesion molecule normally expressed on the surface of leukocytes on the surface of transplanted cells that the migration and homing of the transplanted cells will be enhanced by mimicking the pathways used by leukocytes to home to sites of injury and inflammation. Specific aims of this research include using a lentiviral vector expressing L-selectin to transduce various stem cells, monitoring the expression of cell surface markers (CD 34, Sca 1, CXCR4, B2 integrin), looking at the in vitro adhesion and transmigration properties of the L-selectin engineered cells, and in vivo studies involving the intra-arterial transplantation of L-selectin engineered cells into alpha-sarcoglycan null mice.

Publications

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  • Westerman KA. Myospheres are composed of two cell types: one that is myogenic and a second that is mesenchymal. PLoS ONE 2015; 10:e0116956. PubMed
  • Westerman KA, Penvose A, Yang Z, Allen PD, Vacanti CA. Adult muscle 'stem' cells can be sustained in culture as free-floating myospheres. Exp Cell Res 2010; 316:1966-76. PubMed
  • Westerman KA, Ao Z, Cohen EA, Leboulch P. Design of a trans protease lentiviral packaging system that produces high titer virus. Retrovirology 2008; 4:96. PubMed
  • Totsugawa T, Yong C, Rivas-Carrillo JD, Soto-Gutierrez A, Navarro-Alvarez N, Noguchi H, Okitsu T, Westerman KA, Kohara M, Reth M, Tanaka N, Leboulch P, Kobayashi N. Survival of liver failure pigs by transplantation of reversibly immortalized human hepatocytes with Tamoxifen-mediated self-recombination>. J Hepatol 2007; 47:74-82. PubMed
  • Kong T, Westerman KA, Faigle M, Eltzschig HK, Colgan SP. HIF-dependent induction of adenosine A2B receptor in hypoxia. FASEB J 2006; 20:2242-50. PubMed
  • Wazen RM, Moffatt P, Zalzal SF, Daniel NG, Westerman KA, Nanci A. Local gene transfer to calcified tissue cells using prolonged infusion of a lentiviral vector. Gene Ther 2006; 13:1595-602. PubMed
  • Eltzschig HK, Abdulla P, Hoffman E, Hamilton KE, Daniels D, Sch. HIF-1-dependent repression of equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT) in hypoxia. J Exp Med 2005; 202:1493-505. PubMed
  • Imren S, Fabry ME, Westerman KA, Pawliuk R, Tang P, Rosten PM, Nagel RL, Leboulch P, Eaves CJ, Humphries RK. High-level beta-globin expression and preferred intragenic integration after lentiviral transduction of human cord blood stem cells. J Clin Invest 2004; 114:953-62. PubMed
  • Imren S, Payen E, Westerman KA, Pawliuk R, Fabry ME, Eaves CJ, Cavilla B, Wadsworth LD, Beuzard Y, Bouhassira EE, Russell R, London IM, Nagel RL, Leboulch P, Humphries RK. Permanent and panerythroid correction of murine beta thalassemia by multiple lentiviral integration in hematopoietic stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002; 99:14380-5. PubMed
  • Pawliuk R, Westerman KA, Fabry ME, Payen E, Tighe R, Bouhassira EE, Acharya SA, Ellis J, London IM, Eaves CJ, Humphries RK, Beuzard Y, Nagel RL, Leboulch P. Correction of sickle cell disease in transgenic mouse models by gene therapy. Science 2001; 294:2368-71. PubMed
  • Kobayashi N, Fujiwara T, Westerman KA, Inoue Y, Sakaguchi M, Noguchi H, Miyazaki M, Cai J, Tanaka N, Fox IJ, Leboulch P. Prevention of acute liver failure in rats with reversibly immortalized human hepatocytes. Science 2000; 287:1258-62. PubMed