LOS ANGELES The Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has opened a new Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Core Facility to produce powerful cells capable of making all tissues of the body from adult human skin cells.
One of the first to open in California, cells produced by the Cedars-Sinai core will be used in research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The cells will be critical for innovative research aimed at increasing our understanding of human diseases and genetic disorders, and the quest for new treatments.
"The opening of the Cedars-Sinai Stem Cell Core Facility underscores what an exciting time this is in regenerative medicine," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Cedars-Sinai. "It also is an example of Cedars-Sinai's deep commitment to the scientific research that will be translated into tomorrow's leading-edge treatments."
The new facility will use the latest technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from a patient skin scraping. The induced pluripotent stem cells can be replicated indefinitely and have biological properties similar to embryonic stem cells. These "blank slate" cells can then be turned into any kind of differentiated cell, such as a brain cell or an eye cell or a liver cell.
Although iPS cells were first produced only three years ago, they have quickly become valuable research tools. Clinicians can take skin cells from patients with specific life threatening diseases. Then, Regenerative Medicine Institute scientists can create iPS cells from them and then generate so-called "disease in a dish" models that enable them to more easily identify effective therapies.
"Now, for the first time, we can study human diseases by creating a laboratory specimen of afflicted cells," said Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Regene
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center