Jose Cibelli

Jose Cibelli

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Department of Animal Science



DVM, University of LaPlata, Argentina
PhD, University of Massachusetts


50% Department of Animal Science / 50% Department of Physiology

Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory

Reproductive & Developmental Sciences Program


Our Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory focuses on two aspects of developmental biology:

Nuclear Transfer Cloning. A number of different laboratories, including our own, have demonstrated that a somatic (body) cell, once fused with an egg, is capable of generating not only stem cells (1) but a whole new organism as well (2-4). Interestingly, we still do not comprehend how this is possible. Our laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular events that lead to the transformation of a somatic nucleus into an embryonic-pluripotent one. Insights into the mechanism of de-differentiation will help us generate cloned animals at optimal efficiency for their use in agriculture and medicine (5).

Primate Embryonic Stem Cells. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are capable of maintaining an undifferentiated or pluripotentstate in vitro. At the same time, by modifying the culture conditions, they can generate daughter cells capable of forming all the tissues in the body. We have demonstrated that somatic cells can be turned into ES cells either by nuclear transfer (cloning) (1) or by parthenogenesis (6) and that these cells can later be induced to differentiate into multiple complex tissues (6). In order for us to understand how the state of pluripotency is reached and maintained, ES cells are carefully analyzed at the molecular level. Our challenge is now to learn how to produce these cells without having to relay on eggs (7).


Cibelli, JB. (2007) Developmental biology: A decade of cloning mystic. Science. 316 (5827): 990-992.

Cibelli JB, Stice SL, Golueke PJ, et al. (1998) Transgenic bovine chimeric offspring produced from somatic cell-derived stem-like cells. Nat Biotechnol 16: 642-646.

Cibelli JB, Stice SL, Golueke PJ, et al. (1998) Cloned transgenic calves produced from nonquiescent fetal fibroblasts. Science 280: 1256-1258.

Lanza RP, Cibelli JB, Blackwell C, et al. (2000) Extension of cell life-span and telomere length in animals cloned from senescent somatic cells [see comments]. Science 288: 665-669.

Lanza RP, Cibelli JB, Faber D, et al. (2001) Cloned cattle can be healthy and normal. Science 294: 1893-1894.

Cibelli J, Kiessling A, Cunniff K, Richards C, Lanza R, West M. (2001) Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer in Humans: Pronuclear and Early Embryonic Development. e-biomed: The Journal of Regenerative Medicine Volume 2.

Cibelli JB, Campbell KH, Seidel GE, West MD, Lanza RP. (2002) The health profile of cloned animals. Nat Biotechnol 20: 13-14.

Cibelli JB, Grant KA, Chapman KB, et al. (2002) Parthenogenetic stem cells in nonhuman primates. Science 295: 819.

Kocabas AM, Crosby J, Ross JP, Otu HH, Beyhan Z, Can H, Tam WL, Rosa GJM, Halgren RG, Lim B, Fernandez E, and Cibelli JB. (2006). The transcriptome of human oocytes. PNAS. 103 (38):14027-14032.

Beyhan Z, Ross P, Iager A, Cunniff K, Kocabas A, Cibelli JB. (2007). Transcriptional Reprogramming of Somatic Cell Nuclei During Preimplantation Development of Cloned Embryos. Developmental Biology, February 7th.