Professor Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D. is a Professor at UC Davis School of Medicine in Cell Biology and Human Anatomy. His lab does research on stem cells and cancer, especially from an epigenomic angle. He also has been working on policy and ethics matters for many years. The author of 3 books, he also has a popular TED talk on designer babies.

Tribute to pioneering stem cell scientist Meri Firpo

Tenneille Ludwig, Meri Firpo, and Rosario Isasi at a stem cell meeting (l-r).

Last week we lost Meri Firpo, a great scientist and dear friend in the stem cell community who touched many lives in positive ways. Today’s post is a tribute to Meri, who passed away from breast cancer. If you want to add a tribute please add a comment. Meri Firpo short bio Meri received her …

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Vertex upbeat on 1st stem cell therapy for diabetes trial participant

“While still early, these results support the continued progression of our VX-880 clinical studies, as well as future studies using our encapsulated islet cells, which hold the potential to be used without the need for immunosuppression,” said Bastiano Sanna, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief of cell and genetic therapies at Vertex.

It’s hard in the cell therapy field not to get excited even with bits of seemingly encouraging news but with N=1 reports we have to be very cautious and that’s the case with news from Vertex on their 1st stem cell therapy for diabetes trial participant. Vertex stem cell therapy for diabetes: N=1 This need …

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Weekly stem cell reads: COVID, tail regeneration, aging

tail regeneration

The stem cell field lost a great scientist and friend this week with the passing of Meri Firpo from metastatic breast cancer. I’m going to post a tribute to Meri from several of us sometime this coming week. I’m in a bit of a somber mood but still trying to write, read, and do all …

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Vice tackles dicey Cryo-Cell Duke mega-million peds clinic plan

Cord-blood-autism

When I first learned about the multi-$10 million cord cell clinic deal between Duke and Cryo-Cell I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Duke’s involved in this? The problem: marketing unproven cells for kids Yes, this wasn’t some stem cell clinic operating out of a strip mall seeking to make big money off of injecting …

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Weekly reads: New FDA guidance, brains, MSCs, senescence

human mouse marmoset brain

This week marked the release of new draft FDA guidance on cell and gene therapies. Is the FDA kind of like the guidance counselor at school or more like the principal? It probably depends on many factors. I also find it funny how pretty much everyone in academia and biotech industry works to be compliant …

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Fact-checking Regenexx: reviews, data, & cost

Map of Regenexx stem cell locations. Screenshot of map from company website.

Stem cell clinic firms often come and go rather quickly, but a few like Regenexx have persisted and even become a brand name. I’ve been writing here on The Niche for more than eleven years about stem cell clinics. Regenexx has been around that whole time along with its founder Dr. Chris Centeno. Patients have …

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The Niche weekend reads: Editas mess, The Niche updates, papers

The news of the week relates to an interim clinical trial report from gene-editing firm Editas on its CRISPR trial for a form of vision loss. On to that in a minute. What have you been reading the past week? Below, I include our weekly list of recommended reads. However, first I wanted to give …

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Stem cell therapy side effects: infections, tumors & more

stem-cells-eyes side effects

What are the possible stem cell therapy side effects when people are considering going to an unproven clinic? This is a common question I get asked by patients who reach out. For a video version of this post check out the YouTube video below on our stem cell channel. If you like such videos please …

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Recommended reads: a tale of human tails, heart reprogramming, pericytes, microglia

humans with tails

A piece on human tails and how we lost them caught my eye so I’ll start my weekly reads with that. This week I had the fewest Zoom meetings in ages, which allowed me to get more work done in my own lab and more reading. How about that? I even had some in-person meetings …

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