August 11, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


3 min read

Back-to-back papers (here and here) in Nature Biotechnology report the transdifferentiation (now often simply referred to as “direct reprogramming”) of plain old fibroblasts into brain cells called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). OPCs are a remarkably useful kind of brain cell that generates myelin, which insulates nerves. OPCs are thought to have great therapeutic potential for a number of pathological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI). The two teams included one from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine led by Paul …Read More

2 min read

CIRM recently held an “elevator pitch” (also sometimes known as an “elevator speech”) contest amongst its grantees. The San Francisco Chronicle even covered this contest (and also here). Kevin McCormack, Sr. Director of Public Communications and Patient Advocate Outreach at CIRM, described the contest in, appropriately enough, a speech. As best as I can tell 56 scientists participated. By way of disclosure, I participated in the contest myself too (My own pitch). All the videos can be watched here. The rules? The speech cannot be longer 30 seconds. You …Read More