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.

Labeled diagram of the skin & skin stem cells in research

Labeled diagram of the skin

I’ve been teaching Histology here at UC Davis School of Medicine for more than 12 years and I lecture on skin among other topics so I’ve made more than one labeled diagram of the skin over the years. I’ve included some in this post. First, below you can see a zoomed0out view of fingertip with …

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Weekly reads: stem cell activator, sleep & stem cells, clonal hematopoiesis

stem cells macrophages, stem cell activator

When people find out that I’m a stem cell researcher, a common question is whether there’s something they can take that is a stem cell activator. I’ve written before about whether there are stem cell boosts that one can do to try to be healthier. Sleep, stem cell activator and clonality Mostly when I bring …

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What is HSCT & its possible roles in MS treatment?

Selma-Blair-HSCT

Patients regularly reach out and ask me about something called HSCT. “What is HSCT?” and is it proven as a therapy? Often the patients asking about this have multiple sclerosis (MS) or some other autoimmune disease. I’m not a physician so I can’t give medical advice, but as a stem cell biologist here at UC …

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Weekly reads: stem cells for MS, blood origins, iPSCs

Types-of-Multiple-Sclerosis

How promising is the idea of stem cells for MS? I have been working slowly as time permits on a piece more specifically about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for MS. Two new pieces caught my eye on this topic so I’ll start with those. Stem cells for MS NurOwn Found Safe, Shows Promise in …

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FDA leader Stephen Hahn was pressured to aid Texas firm Direct Biologics

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

An FDA FOIA dump of text messages of former Commissioner Stephen Hahn suggests that a Texas regenerative firm called Direct Biologics benefited from political pressure on him in mid-2020. Then he was asked again to help in early 2021. This was shortly before he resigned at the start of the Biden Administration. The push came from …

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Recommended reads: stem cells for ALS treatment trial, epigenome editing, astronaut mutations, ‘3-person embryo’ DNA

stem cells for ALS treatment

A new stem cells for ALS treatment trial represents a big step forward. It’s early days still but this trial shows feasibility and provides a helpful foundation for moving forward. It also highlights challenges. The work is from a team led by Clive Svendsen. Stem cells for ALS treatment trial Here’s the study. Transplantation of …

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Tributes to NYSCF leader & stem cell advocate Susan Solomon

Susan-Solomon

It was a shock to learn today that New York Stem Cell Foundation CEO and Co-Founder Susan Solomon had passed away yesterday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. I met Susan a few times over the years and was always struck by her positive energy. At a practical level she got big things done …

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Paper sparks renewed interest in transdifferentiation & clinical potential

transdifferentiation, iOPCS

There was a time when I thought transdifferentiation based approaches might quickly move into clinical trials. Then things kind of cooled off. We didn’t see many papers reporting methods to transdifferentiate cells. I still think that this technology, sometimes called direct reprogramming, has major potential. A new paper on making human brain cells this way got …

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Review of cord banker Viacord: dubious autism claims & other concerns

Viacord is one of the most well known firms in the for-profit cord blood banking industry. Today’s post is a review of the firm. I see concrete reasons for concern. What is Viacord? | Dubious autism claims | Viacord cost | Overall Review | References What is Viacord? As a cord blood banking firm, Viacord freezes …

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Weekly reads: CRISPR, FDA stem cell loss, pioneering AMD study, MS, Verve Therapeutics

FDA stem cell policy flow chart.

The big news of the week was the big FDA stem cell in court by Judge Jesus Bernal here in California, who ruled in favor of a chain of stem cell clinics called Cell Surgical Network. The FDA had been seeking an injunction against the clinics. I believe the ruling was founded in part on …

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