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Research on stem cells wins first prize for Hebrew University researcher
Date:6/21/2010

on of human ES cells also brings up the challenge of their possible rejection. His analysis of the immunogenicity of human ES cells has shown that although undifferentiated human ES cells express extremely low levels of immunogenic (rejecting) molecules, this expression is up-regulated when they differentiate,. Thus, human ES cells will probably be a target for cell rejection, and ways to overcome this issue should be further explored, he says.

During the past ten years, the research coming out of this laboratory has been published in over 50 papers, with many of the articles on human ES cells appearing as a cover story in the various journals in which they were published.

SCT - Stem Cell Technologies Ltd. was founded late in 2004 in order to capitalize on the experience and ongoing research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa in the field of human ES cells. SCT is owned in equal shares by Yissum, the research and development company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and TRDF the Technion Research and Development Foundation.

The main goal of SCT is to direct human ES cells to differentiate into insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells for transplantation into diabetic patients. type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by destruction and loss of function of beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, insulin is not produced, and blood glucose levels are not regulated. The disease causes a large number of symptoms: blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage, which can lead to amputations and death.

The mainstay treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin injections. Although the exogenous insulin therapy has dramatically reduced mortality from diabetes, patients often succumb to the long-term complications. Transplantation of functional pancreatic cells represents one of the most promising approaches towards curing diabetes. However, currently this approach i
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Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert  

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