April Pyle, PhD 

April Pyle, PhD
Associate Professor

April Pyle, PhD, seeks to develop a better understanding of what pathways are important in regulating cell fate in human pluripotent stem cells, which can give rise to any cell type in the body. Her lab studies the basic signaling pathways controlling the survival, self-renewal and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.

One focus of Dr. Pyle’s work is defining the signals that balance normal survival and self-renewal in stem cells in order to prevent instability that could lead to tumor development. By examining how stem cells transform in culture, Dr. Pyle hopes to uncover how genetic instability leads to cancer, and that understanding may help to improve the ability to prevent, detect or treat cancer.

During her doctoral training, Dr. Pyle worked on understanding the origins of aneuploidy during spermatogenesis, a chromosomal abnormality that occurs during the development of mature, functional sperm cells. That work enabled her to transition from working with germ cells, the cells that become egg and sperm, to elucidating signals regulating cell fate in a new stem cell system, human embryonic stem cells during her postdoctoral work.

An assistant professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics in the life sciences, Dr. Pyle is a member of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center. She’s also affiliated with UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecularly Biology Institute, the Chemistry-Biology Interface Predoctoral Research Training Program and the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

She works with the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the American Society for Cell Biology and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She joined the UCLA faculty in 2006 after doing her postdoctoral fellowship at the Kimmel Cancer Center and at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Pyle’s work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, the Department of Defense, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Cancer Research Coordinating Committee.