Dr. Laijun Lai is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences. His extensive grant-funded research covers three major areas. First, using stem cell technology and gene engineering approaches to prevent or treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Second, developing gene engineering approaches to enhance anti-tumor immunity and treat cancer. And third, using stem cell technology to model and treat genetic diseases such as DiGeorge Syndrome (DGS). These studies have resulted in the award of two patents and numerous grants with funding exceeding $5 million from the NIH, American Cancer Society, Connecticut Regenerative Medicine Research Fund, and others. Dr. Lai's research has the potential to lead to new drugs or new approaches to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases, cancer, and DGS. His laboratory uses a variety of techniques including bioinformatics, immunology, molecular cloning, cell culture, protein purification and characterization, antibody production, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and disease animal models.