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Breakthrough Stem Cell Research - Millie Ray - H+ Summit @ Harvard
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Breakthrough Stem Cell Research - Millie Ray - H+ Summit @ Harvard


Millie Ray …

Millie Ray
Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital
Breakthrough Stem Cell Research

Have you ever wondered just what a stem cell really is? Or why your tax dollars fund stem cell research? Can stem cells cure a disease? Do we have the technology to clone ourselves? The rapidly growing field of stem cell biology holds the promise of enormous benefits for medicine and science, and is a platform for capital gains as well as many legal and ethical issues. This talk will address these questions and offer a viewpoint on how recent advents in stem cell biology will affect the future of stem cell research and medicine.

Millie (Mridula) is currently a 3rd year graduate student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School. She is also an associate producer at an online media company, Recently (Summer 2009) she helped produce a 10-part series on stem cells, interviewing key opinion leaders in academia, finance, biotech and Pharma/medicine about the basics of stem cell biology and the future of the field. In her undergraduate research, she worked for two years in a leading stem cell lab at MIT. Her current research involves characterizing the interactions of a group of proteins which are essential to development.

Published in Health & Medicine , Technology
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  • 1. iPS  cells:   A  BREAKTHROUGH  IN  STEM  CELL  RESEARCH Presented  by  Mridula  Ray H+  2010
  • 2. Outline • Embryonic  Stem  Cells • iPS  cells  –  turning  Adult  Cells  into  Embryonic-­‐ like  cells • ImplicaCons  in  research  &  drug  design • ImplicaCons  in  medicine
  • 3. Embryonic  Stem  Cells • Self-­‐renewal   Can  divide  indefinitely  into  two  iden/cal  “daughter  cells”  that  have  the  same   proper/es  as  the  original  cell • Pluripotency   Can  turn  into  ANY  cell  in  the  body
  • 4. Where  do  ES  cells  come  from? Modified  from h@p://www.biology-­‐
  • 5. differenCaCon What  can  ES  cells  do? reprogramming Courtesy
  • 6. Induced  Pluripotent  Stem  (iPS)  Cells • RevoluConary  technique  to  turn  cells  from   adult  Cssue  into  an  ES  cell-­‐like  state     Shinya  Yamanaka  2006 • RelaCvely  easy  to  do,  phenomenon  reproduced   by  many  labs  around  the  world
  • 7. How  are  iPS  cells  made? THE  TECHNIQUE DNA human  DNA Replace  most  of  a  virus’s  DNA  with   human  DNA. Infect  a  human  cell The  the  human  DNA  (and  the  virus’s  DNA)   The  part  of  the  virus  DNA  that  makes  it   get  integrated  into  the  cell’s  DNA dangerous  is  removed THE  EXPERIMENT • Put  in  4*  genes  involved  in  development  and   cancer • Conferred  ES  cell  like  properCes  
  • 8. Embryonic  Stem  Cells lls!! S  Ce And  iP • Self-­‐renewal   Can  divide  indefinitely  into  two  iden/cal  “daughter  cells”  that  have  the  same   proper/es  as  the  original  cell • Pluripotency   Can  turn  into  ANY  cell  in  the  body
  • 10. The  near-­‐future  of  scienPfic  discovery THE  PROBLEM • Cannot  always  obtain,  idenCfy  or  purify  stem  cells  from  a   diseased  paCent • Cannot  always  study  diseased  cells  in  a  lab  (limited  lifespan   even  if  you  can) • May  take  years  to  see  effect iPS  SOLUTION • Disease  model  is  improved • Drug  targets  found   discovery  improved • Toxicity  studies  are  improved
  • 11. iPS  cells  are  a  LONG  way  off  from   • Mice  grown  from  iPS  cells  are  more  likely  to  get  cancer  than   natural  babies • Is  an  iPS  cell  completely  reprogrammed  on  the  molecular   level?     • Quality  standards? • Making  iPS  cells  takes  a  long  Cme! • Stem  cells   increases  risk  of  cancer • Delivery  of  a  stem  cell  to  the  right  place  may  be  a  challenge! • Ge^ngthe  right  signals  to  the  stem  cells  is  hard  to  control
  • 12. Autologous  versus  Allogenic • Autologous  –  from  your  own  body • Allogenic  –  from  a  donor Your  immune  system  can  recognize  “self”  from  “non-­‐self” If  the  donor  does  not  have  similar  enough  geneCc  properCes  as   you,  your  immune  system  will  reject  the  transplanted  organ,   blood,  cells  etc PaCents  who  have  had  organ  transplants  oden  have  to  take   immuno-­‐suppressive  medicines  for  the  rest  of  their  lives
  • 13. Current  and  PotenPal  Uses  of  Stem  Cells Current  Use PotenCal  use  with  iPS • IVF • N/A • Bone  marrow  transplants • Autologous • Cord  blood  banking • Not  necessary • Drug  Screening  &  toxicity • Personalized  medicine • Disease  models • Diabetes • From  actual  diseased  cells • Cornea  repair  (Australia,  India) • Autologous • Skin  grads • Autologous  (no  difference) • Spinal  Cord  injury  (1st  ES  C  FDA   • Autologous approved    clinical  trial  in  the  US)   • Cardiac  and  bone/carClage  regen. • Autologous • Full  organ  regeneraCon  challenges
  • 14. THANK  YOU!