Zulma Gazit, PhD

Co-Director, Skeletal Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy

Phone:(310) 423-8070

Institute Affiliation

Regenerative Medicine Institute

Awards and Activities

Member, Founder, Steering Committee2005 - 2011

Research Focus

Stem cell biology and applications in regenerative medicine. Investigate the use of adult stem cells, derived from various tissues of the human body, for the regeneration of bone, cartilage, tendon/ligament and the intervertebral disc. Envision that combining stem cells with differentiation-inducing genes and biodegradable scaffolds could lead to novel therapeutic solutions for patients suffering from non-union fractures, osteoarthritis, tendon tears, osteoporosis and spine disorders.

Research Contributions

Spearheaded the use of non-cultured mesenchymal stem cells for skeletal tissue regeneration. Developed a novel method for isolating adult stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue, named immunoisolation. Established a non-viral approach for the expression of transgenes in mesenchymal stem cells. Promoted the direct gene delivery, by non-viral means, to tissue resident stem cells.

Current investigations include:

Investigation of stem cells isolated from different tissues including the degenerated intervertebral disc and maxillofacial bones. Generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and differentiation to mesenchymal type. Studies looking at the extracellular matrix-stem cell interaction and its plausible effect onto differentiation pathways.

Selected Publications

  1. Benjamin S, Sheyn D, Ben-David S, Oh A, Kallai I, Li N, Gazit D, Gazit Z: Oxygenated environment enhances both stem cell survival and osteogenic differentiation. Tissue Eng Part A, 19(5-6): 748-58, 2013
  2. Mizrahi O, Sheyn D, Tawackoli W, Kallai I, Oh A, Su S, Da X, Zarrini P, Cook-Wiens G, Gazit D, Gazit Z: BMP-6 is more efficient in bone formation than BMP-2 when overexpressed in mesenchymal stem cells. Gene Ther., , 2012
  3. Kimelman-Bleich N, Pelled G, Zilberman Y, Kallai I, Mizrahi O, Tawackoli W, Gazit Z, Gazit D: Targeted gene-and-host progenitor cell therapy for nonunion bone fracture repair. Mol. Ther., 19(1): 53-9, 2010
  4. Kimelman-Bleich N, Pelled G, Sheyn D, Kallai I, Zilberman Y, Mizrahi O, Tal Y, Tawackoli W, Gazit Z, Gazit D: The use of a synthetic oxygen carrier-enriched hydrogel to enhance mesenchymal stem cell-based bone formation in vivo. Biomaterials, 30(27): 4639-48, 2009
  5. Sheyn D, Pelled G, Zilberman Y, Talasazan F, Frank JM, Gazit D, Gazit Z: Nonvirally engineered porcine adipose tissue-derived stem cells: use in posterior spinal fusion. Stem Cells, 26(4): 1056-64, 2008
  6. Risbud MV, Guttapalli A, Tsai TT, Lee JY, Danielson KG, Vaccaro AR, Albert TJ, Gazit Z, Gazit D, Shapiro IM: Evidence for skeletal progenitor cells in the degenerate human intervertebral disc. Spine, 32(23): 2537-44, 2007

Lab Information