Chad Cowan, Ph.D. (MGH/Broad, Regenerative Medicine) leads a group whose goal is to understand the molecular underpinnings of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, and use these insights to develop new therapies. They use human cell-based models to understand how DNA variants affect gene and protein function or how lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet influence disease progression and then use these mechanistic insights to begin the process of developing new therapies that will benefit patients and populations. They have optimized the use of genome editing tools to generate specific DNA variants in human pluripotent stem cells which when differentiated into humanderived tissues provide genetic disease models. His group has developed state-of-the-art protocols that enable the efficient production of human pluripotent stem cell-derived adipocytes, hepatocytes, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells to pursue disease in a dish studies. He also aims to use stem cells to enable regenerative medicine, in which a patientâ€™s own cells can be genetically cured or made resistant to disease and then transplanted back into the body as a durable treatment.