Stem cells are the building blocks of the human body. They play a major role in the regeneration of tissues, and in the development of the human embryo. Stem cells are now at the center of world attention, since it has become evident that they possess the potential to change the face of transplantation medicine. A pluripotent stem cell that may differentiate in culture to all cell types is the ”Holy Grail” of cell-based therapy and the new area of disease modeling. Human embryonic stem cells and human induced-pluripotent stem cells are a unique scientific and medical resource. These cells may give rise to many cell types of the body, such as nerve, muscle, liver, heart, and blood, and thus they hold the promise to treat many human diseases. However, the potential of pluripotent stem cells to create tumors is currently the most major safety concern in their use in the clinic and could affect how they are used to model human diseases in the dish. Our research is aimed at the characterization of abnormal cells generated from the naive cells and after their continuous growth in culture. Our unique repository of pluripotent cell lines will enable us to discover the chromosomal regions that may control the aggressiveness of the tumors and how the cells change in culture. In addition, we will attempt to identify the protein/s that characterize the tumors and use the data to generate new ways to reduce the risk of tumor formation and produce more normal culture systems.
California is now in a special position to lead the research on stem cells for years to come. Research with human embryonic stem cells has the capacity to change the face of regenerative medicine. Our study will focus on the number one concern in the use of pluripotent stem cells in transplantation medicine and disease modeling. When the cultures are expanded in the dish some cells become abnormal and dangerous for transplantation. Furthermore, these cells may make it difficult to produce good models of human disease. Our research will characterize the abnormal cells in culture, the tumors generated from the them and furthermore generate methodologies to reduce the risk of tumor formation. Through this basic research we hope to understand more about stem cell biology which in turn will allow all CIRM funded scientists to work with the best quality, normal cells for their laboratory and clinical studies. Together [REDACTED] represent over 50 years of stem cell experience. Now working together at the [REDACTED] their labs will work together in synergy to tackle one of the most fundamental problems in the field. This will be of great benefit to the state of California and its citizens.