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iPS cells: A promising new platform for drug discovery

Dr. George Daley, Director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Stem Cell Transplantation Program, wrote a blog post for the hospital’s newly launched science and clinical innovation blog, Vector.

Within five years, likely well before we start treating patients with their own genetically corrected stem cells created from induced pluripotent stem cells, I am expecting to see new drugs discovered using iPS cells enter the clinical pipeline.

It’s only been two years since three labs (ours included) created the first human iPS cells through genetic reprogramming of skin cells. Since our creation of the first repository of disease-specific iPS cells in 2008, the number of diseases being modeled in iPS cells has increased to dozens worldwide.

Read the rest of the blog post here.

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Spotlight

  • Cellular reprogramming to create iPS cells

    Cellular reprogramming
    to create iPS cells was named Breakthrough of the Year for 2008 by Science magazine. For more information on Children’s Hospital Boston disease-specific lines of iPS cells, check out this news release and feature story.

  • Disease-specific iPS cells

    By creating iPS cells from patients with specific diseases, researchers can model that disease in a culture dish and observe its earliest beginnings. In 2008, the laboratory of George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, Director of Stem Cell Transplantation Program, reported creating a collection of iPS cell lines from patients with 10 different diseases. The lines are under active study at Children’s Hospital Boston, and are available to scientists around the world, housed at a core facility at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The Daley Lab has also taught scores of scientists how to make the cells themselves.

  • Induced pluripotent stem cells: 2008 Breakthrough of the Year

    Children’s Hospital Boston was one of the first three centers to reprogram skin cells into cells that are much like embryonic stem cell (learn more about this breakthrough in Science). In addition, Children’s Hospital Boston announced the creation of iPS cells from patients with 10 different diseases and established a stem cell repository for all scientists to use, managed by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

  • When is an iPS cell really an iPS cell?

    The production of induced pluripotent stem cells is often imprecise, yielding many incompletely reprogrammed cells. Now, Thorsten Schlaeger, PhD, and George Daley, MD, PhD, of Children’s Stem Cell Program have developed a battery of tests to ensure that he has the real thing: pure pluripotent stem cells. The new work creates a standard of analysis in the field. Read more.