Robert Chacon

Class of 2013

Photo of Robert Chacon
Education: BS Biology (CSU Chico), currently pursuing MS in Biology


Bobby applied for the CIRM program after being introduced to it while exploring developmental biology related MS degrees. His career interests were in the field of Dentistry and therefore the therapeutic uses of stem cells relating to odontogenesis were (and still are) particularly intriguing to him. He was excited to learn and even more excited to be part of this budding field of research.

He worked with Dr.Thomas Rando and Dr.Marco Quarta at Stanford University. They worked on two projects. The first was developing an artificial muscle fiber (AMF) niche as a means to maintain satellite cell quiescence. The artificial niche served as both a scaffold for in vivo remodeling into function myofibers as well as a vehicle to deliver satellite cells in the quiescent state. Eventually these micro-scaffolds would be used in the therapeutic treatment for muscle defect conditions including muscle damage/loss and various muscular dystrophies. Bobby's roles in this project were to help with the characterization of the materials used in the AMF and follow its remodeling/regeneration capacity in vivo. The second project was developing a murine model and preliminary treatment to the loss of large volumes of muscle (Volumetric Muscle Loss (VML)). Following the typical tissue engineering paradigm (Scaffolds + Cells), they used decellularized skeletal muscle and four populations of myogenic precursors to generate functional skeletal muscle at the site of injury de novo. Bobby's roles in this project included standardization the VML model, cell isolation and implantation of scaffolds, and characterization of the remodeling/regeneration capacity in vivo.

After graduating, Bobby obtained a position as a Research Associate at Stanford University, in the laboratory of Dr Thomas Rando.

Bobby, presenting his Internship Research at the 2013 CIRM Trainee Meeting.