Stem Cell News Highlights

SFLF is pleased to share some exciting recent developments in the field of regenerative medicine:

• Researchers in Japan’s Riken Center for Developmental Biology and the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation Hospital in Kobe will use stem cells to attempt to treat age-related macular degeneration, a form of blindness. (Source: BBC News, 7/19/13)

• Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center announced that they have successfully combined cellular therapy (using T cells) and gene therapy in a mouse-model system to develop a viable treatment strategy for breast cancer that has spread to a patient’s brain. (Source: UCLA press release, 8/02/13)

• Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a $3 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to create the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The new center will allow students to “benefit from participating in the use of advanced stem cell technologies to advance the research of cardiovascular science, personalized medicine, organ replacement, regeneration and repair, and more.” (Source: BioNews Texas, 9/16/13)

• In a study published Sept. 18 in Nature, Israeli researchers reported that they identified the key molecule that stops adult cells from transforming into so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Those stem cells are similar to the primitive cells found in embryos, and have the potential to generate any type of body tissue, and could potentially be
used to treat a variety of chronic diseases. (Source: HealthDay News, 9/18/13)

• The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a program of The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will co-direct a $75 million, five-year project nationwide to continue developing tissue-engineering techniques to treat battlefield injuries. The funds will be used “for ongoing research to develop ways to heal wounds and burns; develop a computer-controlled spray gun to spread adult stem cells atop burns to advance recovery; use tissue matrices to regenerate skin and other tissue to heal wounds; improve a drug to help stem cells penetrate wounds and prevent scarring; and continue research in regenerating ligaments, tendons and joints.” (Source: Pittsburg Post, 9/28/13).