Dr. Peter Donovan, Dr. Hans Keirstead, Dr. Aileen Anderson, Dr. Brian Cummings, Dr. Frank LaFerla, Dr. Leslie M. Thompson, and Dr. Matthew Blurton-Jones of UC Irvine discuss the importance of stem cells and the current research taking place within their labs.
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a genetic mutation found in Parkinson’s patients that may lead to damage to neural stem cells. Damage to these cells not only destroys them, but inhibits the body’s ability to create new ones.
The Houston Stem Cell Summit will be held October 26-27 and will feature presentations on the latest therapeutic research in the adult stem cell and progenitor cell therapies. The Summit provides a forum for attendees and participants stay abreast of the breakneck advances in regenerative medicine, exchange information, explore multi-disciplinary synergies and build collaborative alliances – all of which will accelerate applications of regenerative treatments for a broad range of disease trauma and injury.
A highly specialized research team at Seoul National University and RNL Stem Cell Research Institute have been focusing intensive efforts on creating a viable stem cell treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2016.
In a novel use of stem cells, scientists at Rockefeller University and The Scripps Research Institute have created what they are referring to as a ‘humanized mouse’, which responds to diseases as a human would. The creation of mice that react to disease and potential treatments the way humans would will significantly reduce the cost, and speed the process, of developing treatments for a wide variety of disease. “We believe this will improve drug discovery because the reactions we observed were authentic human reactions,” says Dr. Harris Perlman of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Some of the diseases researchers are using these modified mice to develop treatments for are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – an affliction that affects 70 million people (worldwide) and the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) which affects 130 million people worldwide.
Peter Couche suffered from a stroke 20 years ago and has since lived with ‘Locked-in Syndrome’. Peter established The Peter Couche Foundation within the Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide. The foundation raises money to support adult stem cells research on treatments for stroke victims. The University research utilizes the powerful stem cells found in teeth to develop regenerative therapies to address the trauma induced as a result of a stroke. As the research advances, scientists envisage a therapy regiment utilizing autologous [from the patient] dental stem cells.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IDB are Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. In the US, approximately 1 million people suffer from diseases that fall under the category of IBD. Treatments for this disease ordinarily include steroids and immune-suppressors. However, researchers at Wake Forest have recently discovered a population of stem cells that may be able to treat IBD without the use of either steroids or immune-suppressors.
Gamida Cell, a leading adult stem cell therapeutics company has completed enrollment for a Phase I/II trial for hematological malignancies utilizing their NiCord treatment. The treatment is a potential cure for blood cancers, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, severe autoimmune diseases and metabolic diseases. This trial is but one example of the increasing number of stem cell treatments moving out of the lab and entering the clinical testing phase.
Utilizing autologous stem cells, British researchers in Glasgow announce a potential treatment for a common condition that is a result of aging – wrinkles. Pharmacells, a pharmaceutical company specializing in stem cells, expects to begin clinical trials within a year. The methodology takes advantage of the unique properties of stem cells to regenerate and hews to what we believe is emerging as the gold standard for regenerative treatments – recover stem cells from the patient, culture them in-vitro [outside the body] and reintroduce them back into the patient. Pharmacells new treatment utilizes the cultured stem cells to address naturally occurring degeneration [aging] by replacing old skin cells as they break down in the aging process with the new cells.