January 15, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

山中伸弥

1 min read

Where is the field of IPS cells going and how will this impact the overall field of stem cell-based regenerative medicine? Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, the discoverer of IPS cells, gave a really interesting recent interview to Nikkei that provides some fascinating insights into the future of this exciting technology that is now more than a decade old. For simplicity I have indicated top highlights from the Yamanaka interview below as bullet points. More IPS cell trials are on track to start as soon as 2018 …Read More

2 min read

Ring the bell for a stem cell milestone. There’s been a whole lot of commotion about the NEJM article yesterday documenting the experiences of three women with macular degeneration who were blinded by non-FDA approved stem cell eye injections of fat stem cells at a business in Florida, but in the same issue of the journal there also was some encouraging stem cell news that came in the form of essentially a mirror image of the bad news paper. We can call it the “stem cell …Read More

1 min read

Nominations are open starting today for the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2016. Please email me your nominations: knoepflerATucdavisDOTedu. This is a unique award as it is given to an individual who has taken risks to help others within the stem cell field and they based their actions on outside-the-box thinking. Another unusual aspect is that anyone is eligible for the prize whether you are a scientist, physician, patient, writer, student, etc. There are also no geographic restrictions. The winner receives …Read More

4 min read

Has it really been 10 years since induced pluripotent stem cells (aka IPS cells or IPSC) came onto the scene in the stem cell field? Yes, it was a decade ago that now Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka (山中伸弥) published that seminal Cell paper on reprogramming to make mouse IPS cells and then human IPS cells came the next year. From the moment I read that first mouse IPS cell paper, I was very excited about the science and the ideas in it. The domain …Read More

3 min read

Shinya Yamanaka is one of my favorite fellow scientists. His research is creative and rigorous along with having huge clinical implications. At the same time, Dr. Yamanaka sees the big picture and he’s very open about talking about real life as a scientist. I really appreciate both levels. In the past I interviewed him for my blog on the clinical use of IPS cells. In a new interview with Yamanaka by The Japan Times, he says quite a lot of important things. The field should …Read More

2 min read

The still mysterious BioGatekeeper had challenged Yamanaka’s IPS cell patent claiming that it was obvious. The potential implications were huge given the commercial interest in translating IPS cell technology. For background see here, here, and here. There’s pretty much zero information on BioGatekeeper otherwise. Despite the potential seriousness of this patent challenge, just a few days ago the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied the challenge so for all intents and purposes BioGatekeeper’s effort is dead. A big hat tip to reader Shinsakan. You …Read More

2 min read

Congratulations to Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代), MD, PhD, the winner of the 2014 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. Dr. Takahashi received this award including the $2,000 prize for her exceptional achievements in stem cell research in 2014. She was selected as the winner from a stellar group of top 12 finalists this year. Takahashi leads a team doing high-risk, high reward research that is conducting the first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) clinical study in humans ever. I interviewed Takahashi at the beginning of this …Read More

5 min read

I invited Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka to do an interview on the future of clinical translation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). He provides some intriguing new insights into the iPSC field and the broader stem cell arena. PK: The Takahashi Team’s active Clinical Study using iPSCs to make RPEs to treat Macular Degeneration has generated a great deal of excitement. Can you please share your perspectives on the importance of this work and the team involved?  SY: This is the first study to apply …Read More

4 min read

Who is trying, via the name BioGatekeeper, Inc., to nullify Yamanaka’s patent on cellular reprogramming to produce induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells? The readers of this blog never cease to amaze me. What an informed, energetic, bright group. Within just days they may have collectively shed some light on an intriguing mystery in the stem cell field surrounding the question that started this post. This past week the mysterious organization BioGatekeeper, Inc. filed a challenge to the Yamanaka Patent. The basis of the challenge is the assertion that cellular reprogramming was …Read More

3 min read

A new patent dispute has exploded in the stem cell field related to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. What’s going on? In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka reported cellular reprogramming to create mouse induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in Cell and the next year multiple groups along with Yamanaka’s reported creating human iPS cells. It’s no exaggeration to say this was a blockbuster development for the cell and developmental biology fields and Yamanaka later went on to win the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Another element …Read More