The Ruohola-Baker laboratory is dissecting the molecular mechanisms that control stem cell self-renewal and regeneration capacity, both in normal and pathological situations. The laboratory has identified metabolic differences between pluripotent, pre- and post-implantation ESC and is now dissecting how metabolites regulate the stem cell epigenetic state. The laboratory works on three questions: 1) metabolic determinants of stem cells and regeneration 2) stem cell aging and 3) using stem cells to dissect the mechanism of disease states. The laboratory will dissect the etiology of long chain fatty acid induced SIDS, a heart defect that can cause sudden infant death. The laboratory will also study Amelogenesis Imperfect (AI), a defects in stem cells for ameloblasts that normally deposit enamel, the hardest tissue in our body.