April Dawn Pyle

Department Vice Chair, MIMG, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles


Laboratory Address:
615 Charles E. Young Dr. South
Los Angeles , CA 90095

Work Address:
615 Charles E. Young Dr. South
Los Angeles , CA 90095

Office Phone Number:




Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Lab Website


Member, CTSICell & Developmental Biology GPB Home AreaCenter for Duchenne Muscular DystrophyEli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell ResearchJCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area


Research Interests

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have enormous potential for use in regenerative medicine, in patient-specific screening and as a model for understanding human development. HPSCs encompass both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which are derived from reprogramming somatic cells back to the pluripotent state. HiPSCs derived from patients with genetic diseases can be used as a human cellular model of the disease, thus enabling mechanistic studies and pre-clinical drug screening. However there are many critical hurdles that preclude the translation of hPSCs clinical potential into practice including poor survival and self-renewal upon dissociation, potential for genetic instability and tumorigenesis, and inefficient differentiation. Our laboratory interests have centered on identifying regulators of these three key processes in hPSCs. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms controlling survival/self-renewal, stability and differentiation will improve our understanding of regulation of the pluripotent state and provide inroads into use of these cells in regenerative medicine. A main focus of the lab is interested in understanding the role of intrinsic and extrinsic signals involved in directing muscle differentiation from hPSCs as well as development of a novel reprogramming platform for muscle differentiation. This will improve our basic understanding of human muscle specification and could provide regenerative approaches for treatments of muscle disorders including muscular dystrophy.


Dr. Pyle received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 2002 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship work with Peter Donovan in 2006 at Johns Hopkins University. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA and a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Stem Cell Center, the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA. Dr. Pyle’s lab uses multi-disciplinary approaches to study human pluripotent stem cell biology and differentiation of these cells for use in regenerative medicine. Dr. Pyle’s lab studies both basic aspects of stem cell biology as well as more translational aspects of human pluripotent stem cell differentiation towards skeletal muscle for use in therapeutic approaches for patients with muscular dystrophy.

Awards and Honors

  • Alfred E Mann Family Foundation Research Award, UCLA, 2022.
  • Life Sciences Faculty Research Excellence Award UCLA, UCLA, 2016.
  • George and Nouhad Ayoub Centennial Chair for Life Science Innovation, UCLA, 2020-Pres.
  • Ablon Faculty Award, UCLA, 2018-2021.
  • Rose Hills Foundation Scholar, UCLA, 2015.