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Nobel Laureate on New Era of Medicine with iPS Cells

Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2012, Shaw Laureate in Life Science and Medicine 2008 and currently director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application in Kyoto University, was invited by the Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine at Faculty of Medicine as Dr. Lui Che Woo Distinguished Professor and delivered a public lecture on ‘New Era of Medicine with iPS Cells’ on 17 November.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were originally generated from mouse and human skin fibroblasts by introducing four specific transcription factor genes. Since iPSCs have the ability to proliferate almost indefinitely and differentiate into multiple lineages, they could provide unprecedented opportunities in regenerative medicine, disease modelling, drug screening, and personalized medicine.

Professor Yamanaka and his research team announced the successful generation of mouse iPS cells in 2006 and of human iPS cells in 2007, surmounting the ethical use of human embryos and problems with tissue rejection after implantation.

Professor Yamanaka’s research aims to standardize iPSC technology for the preparation of clinical grade iPSCs by providing clear guidelines for cell sources and induction factors, along with reliable methods for quality control.

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