May 30, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Retina Institute of Japan

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

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

3 min read

Will intellectual property (IP) wars over patent rights to one of the most exciting new stem cell technologies hold back getting novel therapies to patients such as IPS cells? Unfortunately, it’s very possible. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are very cool stem cells made from non-stem cells through a process called cellular reprogramming. iPS  cells have essentially all of the same properties and powers as embryonic stem (ES) cells, but without the potential ethical complexity of utlizing a human blastocyst for their generation. Pretty amazing, …Read More

2 min read

The stem cell field is still abuzz about induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells 7 years after their discovery. This amazing embryonic stem cell-like cells can be made with no embryo and have the potential for truly patient specific therapies as well as dish-in-a-dish modeling and drug discovery. How will iPS cells get to patients? A big player is the Japanese company Institution, Riken. iPS cells are being commercialized and at the forefront far seems to be the Retina Institute of Japan (RIJ), which appears to be just …Read More