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Thomas Zwaka

  • PROFESSOR Developmental and Regenerative Biology
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  • MD PhD, University of Ulm

  • Postdoctoral, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Pluripotency, Cellular Diversity, and Multicellularity

Pluripotent stem cells can regenerate any tissue in the body, but the ability to direct these versatile cells toward specific medical endpoints, such as tissue repair or replacement, has been slow to develop. Our research is expected to accelerate the use of pluripotent stem cells in humans with injury or disease in a controlled, robust and predictable manner.


Dejosez M, Ura H, Brandt VL, Zwaka TP. Safeguards for cell cooperation in mouse embryogenesis shown by genome-wide cheater screen. Science 2013 Sep; 341(6153).

Zwaka TP. Pluripotency network in embryonic stem cells: maybe Leibniz was right all along. Cell stem cell 2012 Oct; 11(4).

Dejosez M, Zwaka TP. Pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming. Annual review of biochemistry 2012; 81.

Chu LF, Surani MA, Jaenisch R, Zwaka TP. Blimp1 expression predicts embryonic stem cell development in vitro. Current biology : CB 2011 Oct; 21(20).

Zwaka TP. Stem cells: Troublesome memories. Nature 2010 Sep; 467(7313).

Dejosez M, Levine SS, Frampton GM, Whyte WA, Stratton SA, Barton MC, Gunaratne PH, Young RA, Zwaka TP. Ronin/Hcf-1 binds to a hyperconserved enhancer element and regulates genes involved in the growth of embryonic stem cells. Genes & development 2010 Jul; 24(14).

Zwaka TP. Ronin and caspases in embryonic stem cells: a new perspective on regulation of the pluripotent state. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology 2008; 73.

Dejosez M, Krumenacker JS, Zitur LJ, Passeri M, Chu LF, Songyang Z, Thomson JA, Zwaka TP. Ronin is essential for embryogenesis and the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells. Cell 2008 Jun; 133(7).

Fujita J, Crane AM, Souza MK, Dejosez M, Kyba M, Flavell RA, Thomson JA, Zwaka TP. Caspase activity mediates the differentiation of embryonic stem cells. Cell stem cell 2008 Jun; 2(6).

Zwaka TP. Keeping the noise down in ES cells. Cell 2006 Dec; 127(7).

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Zwaka did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2015 and/or 2016: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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