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Polygence Scholar2023
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Arman Royai

Class of 2025Alamo, Calfornia



  • "How, if at all, can prions affect MSC proliferation in vivo to achieve a therapeutic effect." with mentor Helen (July 28, 2023)

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How, if at all, can prions affect MSC proliferation in vivo to achieve a therapeutic effect.

Started Jan. 24, 2023

Abstract or project description

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are one of the top stem cells used for stem cell therapies. MSCs can be used to cure a myriad of diseases as well as tissue regeneration. This is mainly done through the MSC’s ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, vasculator cells, and endogenous cardiac stem cell recruiters, among others. This, compounded with their ability to secrete paracrine factors with pleiotropic effects which allows them to migrate to injured sites makes MSCs one of the best stem cells for use in therapies. However, MSCs do not infinitely proliferate and after a certain number of population doublings they become senescent which greatly hinders their therapeutic capabilities. Currently, a new methods to increase MSC proliferation as well as decrease senescence have been found within the pathogenic proteins known as prions. Prions (PrPSC) are misfolded forms of the PrPC protein which usually are known for their ability to cause pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Multispongiform Encephalitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. The method by which these prions proliferate is uniquely protein-protein based information transfer in which they cause other proteins, through certain mechanisms, to change structure and create the same functionality of the originating prion.

(This is a portion of what Arman has written, he will finish the abstract shortly!)