Navigation Links
McLean Hospital researchers awarded $1.9 9 million grant for stem cell, blood research

Belmont, MAResearchers at Harvard-Affiliated McLean Hospital have been awarded a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health Director's Opportunity Award to continue their research into creating human induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells using a method aimed at eliminating the risk of cancer and other problems associated with other options such as genome-integrating viral methods.

The three-year grant, made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was awarded to a research team headed by Kwang-Soo Kim, PhD, director of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at McLean, and Robert Lanza at Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine International (SCRMI), which is a joint venture with Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) of Worcester and CHA Biotech of Korea.

The joint venture involving ACT has been active in researching the use of these protein-induced pluripotent stem cells as a source of universal red blood cells and platelets for transfusion.

"This was really perfect timing for us because this work is a little bit beyond the capability of a single laboratory. It is technically demanding, labor intensive and expensive research," said Kim. "The award will support our continued research into iPS cell use that both avoids the risk of cancer growth and genetic dysfunction and provides a potential source of unlimited blood supply."

In 2009, Kim's team published an important study in the journal Cell Stem Cell, showing the ability to create stem cells out of human skin cells, eliminating the risk of cancer and removing some of the ethical concerns associated with embryonic stem cells. The paper described using proteins rather than genes or viruses to reprogram human skin cells, eliminating the risk of cancers or other abnormalities developing in the reprogrammed cells associated with the use of genes or viruses.

"The technique is hoped to result in the availability of the first clinic-ready human induced iPS cells, which could ultimately result in the development of treatments for a variety of illnesses, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," said Kim. "The technique of using a patient's own skin cells also eliminates the problem of immune rejection that is associated with using embryonic stem cells."

The researchers not only want to apply the technology for stem cell therapy but also for disease modeling, a process that would allow for their use in the laboratory to study disease mechanisms and in pharmaceutical companies to screen new medications.

"The ultimate goal is to use them in personalized cell therapy," explained Kim.

At the same time, the grant money will be used to see whether the iPS cells can be turned into blood lineage cells, including platelets. The SCRMI lab, headed by Lanza, has already shown the ability to make blood lineage cells from human embryonic stem cells.

If the same can be done from human iPS cells, it might be able to generate blood cells for certain patients so they can receive transfusions of blood and platelets from themselves, Kim said.

It would eliminate the problem of rejection and would provide blood lineage cells such as platelets that will be extremely useful in potentially life-threatening situations of blood shortages, he said.

A third goal of the research is to seek to make iPS cells from tissues of patients who have the rare universal blood types Rh- and O-, he added. "If we can make an unlimited amount of blood from these iPS cells, the blood could be used universally, particularly in crisis situations such as war," he said.

"Dr. Lanza's team has the world's top expertise in how to differentiate human embryonic stem cells or iPS cells to blood lineage cells," Kim said. "That is why they have combined with my lab, where we have the expertise to generate iPS cells using the protein method."


Contact: Adriana Bobinchock
McLean Hospital

Related biology news :

1. UNCs Dr. Sean McLean receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation award
2. Vitamin C rapidly improves emotional state of acutely hospitalized patients, say LDI researchers
3. Opioid use to relieve pain and suffering at end of life is safe in hospital-at-home setting
4. Researchers at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles find diet-induced obesity accelerates leukemia
5. Memorial Hospital Selects DigitalPersona Pro to Enhance HIPAA Security
6. Texas Childrens Hospital vaccine experts present 4 studies
7. Nude-colored hospital gowns could help doctors better detect hard-to-see symptoms
8. Temple University Hospital and PASNAP Negotiations Break Off: Talks to Resume Later Today
9. Researchers find Clostridium difficile is more common than MRSA in southeast community hospitals
10. Hospital scanner could curb nuclear waste threat
11. University Hospitals Case Medical Center testing gene therapy for Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... Board of Directors. --> ... retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of ... over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and led ... the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. ... human interface solutions, today announced expansion of its ... ™ touch controller and display driver integration ... of smartphones. These new TDDI products add to ... (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... , a leading relationship marketing company specializing in scientifically backed, age-defying products, ... January 2016 issue, which highlights the exponential success and unrivaled opportunities that ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... global meeting this month and Dr. J. Kyle Mathews will join ... includes the new single site hysterectomy. , An experienced urogynecologist, founder of Plano ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group announced that its scientific team is in the ... cells. The announcement starts a new phase toward launching the simple, quick system for ... lipoaspirate obtained from liposuction of excess adipose tissue. , Lipoaspirate, contains a large ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MONTREAL , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: ... that it has joined the American Business Act on Climate ... economy that are standing with the Obama Administration to demonstrate ... for a strong outcome to the COP21 Paris ... . --> Sarnia, Canada . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: