Stem cells are unspecialized cells that act as the body’s natural reservoir – replenishing stocks of specialized cells that have been used up or damaged. Stem cells have the unique ability to produce copies of themselves (self-renewal) and specialized cell types (differentiation) and as such, they are essential to keep our body functioningFor example, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), make our blood and immune cells, while mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) form our bone, muscle and fat cellsStem cell therapy involves the transplantation of cells into patients, either through local delivery or systemic infusion and offers great promise for new medical treatmentsMSCs can be derived from diverse tissues including the bone marrow, adipose tissue and umbilical cord. MSCs are being explored to heal tissues and organs in patients that have been damaged by trauma or disease, while HSCs can be used as bone marrow transplants for treatment of various types of cancer. More recently, researchers have created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult cells and these pluripotent cells can give rise to any cell type. 

The REMEDI Stem Cell Biology Research Programme 

The clinical translation of stem cell therapy has been hampered by a limited knowledge of efficacy and mode of action, as well as manufacturing capacity and quality. Research programmes at REMEDI focus on the behaviour of MSCs and aim to refine techniques to isolate, culture and differentiate them in order to optimize their therapeutic potencyWe are targeting tissue repair following vascular injury, bone defects and arthritis using MSC therapy. Furthermore, we are invested in clinical translatability of MSCs and indeed focus on scaling up production and preparing cells for patient treatment in specialized facilities (see section on our cell manufacturing facility). We are also harnessing the innate ability of MSCs to home to tumours by employing MSCs as vehicles for targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics. Finally, REMEDI researchers are using iPSCs to create disease models, primarily musculoskeletalneurological and cardiac conditions, in order to study causes and potential treatments for genetic diseases. 

Relevant Research Groups