June 4, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Harvard stem cells

3 min read

I’m enjoying attending and speaking at the annual Science Writers 2018 meeting in D.C. where I spoke this morning on a panel about stem cells. The session was specifically on the Wild West of stem cells. You can follow the meeting events on Twitter with the #sciwri18 hashtag. I had three wonderful fellow panelists, Marilynn Marchione of the AP, Terry Devitt of the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. Peter Marks, Head of CBER at the FDA (pictured). Marilynn and Terry ran the session. The session was …Read More

3 min read

What happens when one of the most exciting stem cell biotechs ViaCyte teams up with a firm like CRISPR Therapeutics to use a combination of gene editing and cell therapy? Hopefully a synergistic partnership emerges that in this case can develop an effective stem cell-based therapy for diabetes. You can see a press release on the news. (Update, see my new interview after the news broke with ViaCyte CEO Paul Laikind) ViaCyte has been a frequent subject of posts on The Niche related to …Read More

2 min read

There has been considerable discussion about the whether the media hyped the recent Harvard Diabetes stem cell paper (see top 10 takeaways of that paper) . I believe that this was greatly hyped. This Harvard publication reported production of insulin-secreting cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Newspapers around the world widely exaggerated the potential impact of this paper. They often used the word “cure”. Perhaps the worst offender was the Telegraph with their headline “Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough“. I’m not …Read More

3 min read

The idea of using stem cells to treat Type I Diabetes is very promising and could have huge practical impact. Real progress has been achieved toward this goal over the last decade. In perhaps another decade there might be a validated treatment. A new stem cell paper has just come out in Cell from Harvard in this area. It reports making insulin-producing β cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) with the notion of some day using these cells to treat Diabetes. See graphical abstract at left from the …Read More

2 min read

We in the stem cell field should call this past week A Nightmare on Stem Street. I can’t think of many weeks that have been worse for the stem cell field than this past one. I’m a new week is starting soon. It was a real nightmare, although I wish it was just something fictional out of the movies (see movie poster from Wikipedia). What happened? The STAP horror fest kicked it up a notch in providing pain to the stem cell field with a dramatic …Read More