Stanford researchers who receive funding from the Siebel Stem Cell Institute have made a breakthrough discovery. The team has successfully gotten stem cells to produce bone, heart muscle, and cartilage within a matter of days.
The Stanford University School of Medicine team has mapped out the sets of biological and chemical signals necessary to quickly and efficiently direct human embryonic stem cells to become pure populations of any of 12 cell types.
The ability to make pure populations of these cells within days rather than the weeks or months previously required is a key step toward clinically useful regenerative medicine — potentially allowing researchers to generate new beating heart cells to repair damage after a heart attack or to create cartilage or bone to reinvigorate creaky joints or heal from trauma.
The Siebel Stem Cell Institute, established by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation in 2008, is a joint research initiative between the University of California, Berkeley Stem Cell Center and the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine — two of the world's leading stem cell research institutions.
The Siebel Stem Cell Institute supports innovative research projects and collaboration among top physician-scientists, biologists, chemists, engineers, and computer scientists to harness the potential of regenerative medicine to address intractable diseases and confront challenges presented by aging. Since its founding, the Siebel Stem Cell Institute has brought together 83 investigators from 11 countries, and seed grants have supported 33 researchers working on 14 innovative projects and collaborations.
The Institute has discovered new ways to combat diseases at the molecular level by enabling stem cell growth and has created new therapies to treat breast cancer patients and children with immunodeficiencies with purified blood-forming stem cells. New techniques have been developed to better identify colon and bladder cancers for more accurate analysis and targeted treatment.
Researchers have also identified the underlying mechanisms that give rise to leukemia and other cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease, and have isolated stem cells that make possible the regeneration of bone, cartilage, and tissue.
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