Tag Archives: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

What Decides Neural Stem Cell Fate?

A gene called SOX2 acts as a stem cell gatekeeper – only cells expressing it have the potential to become neurons.

Early in embryonic development, the neural crest – a transient group of stem cells – gives rise to parts of the nervous system and several other tissues. But little is known about what determines which cells become neurons and which become other cell types. A team led by Dr. Alexey Terskikh at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) recently found that expression of a gene called SOX2 maintains the potential for neural crest stem cells to become neurons in the
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CIRM awards $25 million to support spinal cord injury trial, $37.7 million for basic stem cell science

The Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the State Stem Cell Agency, approved a $25 million award to support the first FDA-approved clinical trial based on cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

The award to Menlo Park-based Geron, Corp, will support the company’s on-going early phase trial for people with spinal cord injury. This is the first time the agency, which was created by the passage of proposition 71 in 2004, has funded a human clinical trial testing a stem cell-derived therapy.

“Supporting the Geron trial is a landmark step for CIRM,” said Robert Klein, CIRM
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Stem Cell Technology to fight Huntington’s Disease

Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes and an international team of researchers have generated a human model of Huntington’s disease — directly from the skin cells of patients with the disease.

For years, scientists have studied Huntington’s disease primarily in post-mortem brain tissue or laboratory animals modified to mimic the disease. Today, in Cell Stem Cell, the international team shows how they developed a human model of Huntington’s disease, which causes a diverse range of neurological impairments. The new model should help scientists better understand the development of Huntington’s — and provide better ways to identify and screen potential therapeutics
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Stem cell research will have a deep impact on human health

Stem-cell science is one of the most promising areas of biomedical research with the potential to dramatically improve treatment of the most intractable diseases, but it will likely take several more years to fully realize its potential.

That was the message at the annual Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research on June 6. The day-long event, which marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, assembled the country’s leading stem-cell investigators to discuss the field’s achievements, its challenges and future.

“The potential for stem cells is tremendous: If someone has a
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Self-Renewing Neural Stem Cells

Abundant precursor cells can become many types of neurons without introducing tumor risk

In a paper published in the April 25 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues report a game-changing advance in stem cell science: the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neuron without increased risk of tumor formation.

“It’s a big step forward,” said Kang Zhang, MD, PhD,
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