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.

Fact check: Lung Health Institute & cell therapies for lung disease

the lung health institute

What should we make of clinics like the Lung Health Institute? These clinics sell unproven stem cell or regenerative therapies for lung disease. Overall, I’m extremely skeptical. I don’t believe it’s worth the cost. There are also going to be potentially serious health risks. Lung disease is a broad category including COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, …

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Regenerative reads: brain organoids, Clinicaltrials.gov change

brain organoids sm

Sometimes change takes a very long time, but with brain organoids or advocating for better information for patients at Clinicaltrials.gov, after waiting you can see some interesting developments.  These are two of the regenerative medicine stories of the week, along with some striking research papers. Clinicaltrials.gov Some of us have been advocating for improvements at …

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24 cell therapy & stem cell stocks I’m following

stem cell stocks

Stem cell stocks, meaning cellular therapy biotech companies, face many challenges, but their clinical research is crucial. These biotechs have ups and downs, sometimes at the same time. This is kind of the standard of “life” as any biotech company. It is definitely the case in the volatile stem cell and cell therapy arena. Today …

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Recommended reads: stem cells on the brain, heart, COVID

ascl1 brain stem cells harris et al cell stem cell 2021 fig. 6

There are weeks when it seems like papers on stem cells keep popping up. It can be a challenge to keep up with reading all the papers you want to read. Other times it is cell biology news that keeps breaking. The big news of the past week or so was unfortunately the concerning development …

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Fact-Checking Panama stem cell institute: cost, safety, efficacy, docs

The Stem Cell Institute, Panama stem cells

Somehow time has flown by so that I’ve been around for ages in the stem cell universe and some unproven stem cell clinic type firms, like the well-known Panama stem cell clinic that sells autism “treatments”, are also long-timers. It’s been an odd parallel existence for more than a decade. Both the Panama clinic place, …

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Bluebird bio sickle cell gene therapy trial halted on cancer worry

bluebird bio, sickle cell gene therapy

Recently I was going through a list I’m updating of regenerative medicine biotech companies including Bluebird bio. Now just a few days later the world seems turned upside down for the firm and maybe to some degree for other companies doing related work. Bluebird bio blues: 2 trial participants get cancer News broke today that …

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Dissecting that Neanderthal brain organoids Science pub

neanderthal human brain organoids

Organoids and especially brain organoids, which are made from pluripotent stem cells, are one of the most interesting developmental biology technologies of the last half a dozen or so years. Still some folks can’t help but get carried away when thinking about brain organoids it seems. A new Science paper from a team led by …

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Recommended reads: pluripotent stem cells, neural crest, cancer, more

pluripotent stem cell, neural crest cells

There has been quite a lot of pubs on research on pluripotent stem cells published lately. These include some more surprising findings such as a potential role for pluripotency-related programming in neural crest development. Here the week’s recommended reads. Neural Crest research: ties to factors involved in pluripotent stem cells Science, Reactivation of the pluripotency …

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Fact-check: F grade for irresponsible stem cell COVID-19 cure piece

vitro biopharma stem cells covid 19

At times there’s been seriously bad journalism covering COVID-19 itself including implications of various things being a COVID cure. Of course, media coverage of stem cell research itself sometimes ends up being a train-wreck of hype too. More recently we’ve seen irresponsible journalism also around the specific idea of stem cells for COVID-19, but sometimes …

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Mesenchymal cells or MSCs: definition, stem cell fraction, & trial map

mesenchymal cells, MSCs, mesenchymal stem cells

I confess that I’m old enough to remember when the acronym MSC stood unambiguously for “mesenchymal stem cells”, but should it refer to a broader term like “mesenchymal cells”? The field has moved in that direction. I think that’s the best way to go too and I’ll explain why. The goal of today’s post is …

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