ABOUT Jalees Rehman

Avatar of Jalees Rehman

I love to read books. When I am not reading books, I work as a stem cell biologist and as a cardiologist. I am currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmcology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I originally trained as a chronobiologist, investigating the circadian rhythms of bioluminescent algae at the University of Munich. After completing medical school in Munich, I moved from Germany to the United States. My research career meandered quite a bit, and involved cell adhesion molecules of leukocytes, the growth of blood vessels, cocaine-induced heart attacks, mitochondria in cancer cells, endocannabinoids, pulmonary hypertension and, finally, stem cells. I found nearly every aspect of biology quite exciting, and this is perhaps why I have chosen stem cell biology as my research focus. It allows me to combine and integrate so many aspects of biology. My laboratory currently studies the biology of embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as their therapeutic potential. My personal blog is entitled Fragments of Truth. I can be contacted at jalees.rehman[at]gmail.com.


Jalees Rehman: All Posts


Builders and Blocks – Engineering Blood Vessels with Stem Cells

Posted 17 September 2014 by Jalees Rehman

Back in 2001, when we first began studying how regenerative cells (stem cells or more mature progenitor cells) enhance blood vessel growth, our group as well as many of our colleagues focused on one specific type of blood vessel: arteries. Arteries are responsible for supplying oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body and arteries are more likely to develop gradual plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) than veins or networks of smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Once the amount of plaque in... Read more

Fasting Improves Recovery of Bone Marrow Stem Cells after Chemotherapy

Posted 22 July 2014 by Jalees Rehman

[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell)] Fasting is defined as either completely abstaining from or minimizing food intake for a defined period time - ranging from about 12 hours to even a few weeks. Calorie restriction, on the other hand, refers to an overall reduction in the daily calorie intake by about 20%-40% without necessarily reducing the meal intake frequency. Although calorie restriction is well-suited for weight loss and thus also reduces the risk of chronic diseases... Read more

The Road to Bad Science Is Paved with Obedience and Secrecy

Posted 8 July 2014 by Jalees Rehman

We often laud intellectual diversity of a scientific research group because we hope that the multitude of opinions can help point out flaws and improve the quality of research long before it is finalized and written up as a manuscript. The recent events surrounding the research in one of the world's most famous stem cell research laboratories at Harvard shows us the disastrous effects of suppressing diverse and dissenting opinions. The infamous "Orlic paper" was a landmark research article published in... Read more

Turning Off Inflammation: A Novel Anti-Inflammatory Switch in Macrophages

Posted 24 June 2014 by Jalees Rehman

[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell), an excellent immunologist and one of my faculty colleagues at the University of Illinois, who is quite excited about science outreach and science blogging.] Macrophages are important immune cells which regulate inflammation, host defense and also act as a 'clean-up crew'. They recognize, kill and engulf bacteria as well as cellular debris, which is generated during an acute infection or inflammation. As such, they are present in nearly all tissues of... Read more

Does Reading ‘Moral’ Stories to Children Promote Honesty?

Posted 16 June 2014 by Jalees Rehman

  All over the world, young children are exposed to classic fairy tales, myths and other stories. Most kids love hearing the stories, but in addition to being a fun activity, story-telling is also thought of as an educational tool which can promote moral reasoning and honesty. Conventional wisdom suggests that hearing fairy tales in which dishonest protagonists are punished might help convince the listeners to become truth-tellers. There is surprisingly little scientific data to back up this conventional wisdom,... Read more

How Does Your Facebook News Feed Affect You?

Posted 3 June 2014 by Jalees Rehman

Researchers at Facebook, Inc., the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Cornell University teamed up to study whether manipulating the News Feeds of Facebook users would affect the emotional content of the users' status updates or postings. They recently published their findings in the PNAS paper "Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks"  and suggest that they have found evidence of an "emotional contagion", i.e. the idea that emotions can spread via Facebook. The size of the... Read more

To Err Is Human, To Study Errors Is Science

Posted 21 May 2014 by Jalees Rehman

The family of cholesterol lowering drugs known as 'statins' are among the most widely prescribed medications for patients with cardiovascular disease. Large-scale clinical studies have repeatedly shown that statins can significantly lower cholesterol levels and the risk of future heart attacks, especially in patients who have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. A more contentious issue is the use of statins in individuals who have no history of heart attacks, strokes or blockages in their blood vessels. Instead of waiting... Read more

Does Literary Fiction Challenge Racial Stereotypes?

Posted 7 May 2014 by Jalees Rehman

A book is a mirror: if a fool looks in, do not expect an apostle to look out. -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) Reading literary fiction can be highly pleasurable, but does it also make you a better person? Conventional wisdom and intuition lead us to believe that reading can indeed improve us. However, as the philosopher Emrys Westacott has recently pointed out in his essay for 3Quarksdaily, we may overestimate the capacity of literary fiction to foster moral improvement. A... Read more