May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


2 min read

In a surprise, Dr. Masayo Takahashi has announced that she has left RIKEN. Takahashi indicates she will be new President of a company called Vision Care, Inc. as part of the Kobe Eye Center. I’ve pasted a picture of Takahashi’s Tweet with translation more toward the bottom of the post. A big thanks to Piero Carninci, a biologist at RIKEN, for the heads up on this news. I’m sure they are very sad to see her go, but wish her the best! Here is …Read More

3 min read

The Japanese research institute RIKEN has come full circle in a way on the STAP cell scandal. Note that the STAP papers included not only authors from RIKEN, but also from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. With its final report released today (also a powerpoint of images were released including the one showing a figure posted here of reportedly made up data published in a STAP paper), RIKEN seems to now have handled this complicated mess in a relatively rigorous, scientific manner that …Read More

2 min read

Dr. Yoshiki Sasai (笹井芳樹) former Deputy Director of the RIKEN CDB and a senior author on the STAP papers, has reportedly died from suicide. Update: The Japan Times writes on this situation that Sasai was found hanging at RIKEN and there may have been a suicide note. Dr. Sasai was a top scholar in the stem cell field. He published dozens of high-impact publications and was widely respected. You can see some thoughts on the loss of Yoshiki Sasai from Scientific American here by Janet D. …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