Funding Program for the World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST) by the Cabinet Office
iPS Cell Research Project for Regenerative Medicine

Chief Researcher Shinya Yamanaka

Toward implementation of regenerative medicine based on iPS cell technology

This project is one of the research projects adopted by the "Funding Program for the World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST)". In the project, CiRA , Kyoto University conducts research for establishing a method for generating iPS cells most suitable for use in regenerative medicine, in other words a global standard method, based on the results of comparative analyses of different iPS cells generated from cells of different origins and by different methods for their characteristics(standardization of iPS cells). The ultimate goal of the project is to establish Japan's iPS cell technology as a global standard, thereby contributing to promoting clinical research on a variety of intractable diseases, and encouraging new biomedical industries.

Progress of the project (as of March 2011)

For establishing a more efficient method for generating iPS cells, we are currently making comparative analyses for the efficiency of different combinations of several nuclear reprogramming factors including low-tumorigenic L-Myc, and of techniques for transducing these factors into somatic cells of different origins. Thus far, we have developed a method for generating iPS cells without integration, using nonintegrating episomal vectors.

Outline of research subjects

Research themes

- Comparative analyses of different methods for generating iPS cells
To compare different methods for generating iPS cells, which are based on the use of somatic cells of different origins, different combinations of factors and different techniques for transuducing the factors, for their efficiency of generation and period required for generation and the pluripotency of the cells obtained.

- Understanding of the characteristics of iPS cells
To compare different iPS cells generated, for their characteristics including differentiation potential, and based on the results obtained, standardize the iPS technology.

- GMP-compatible Production of iPS cells
To conduct processes compatible with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for preparation of iPS cells, selection of cell lines, production of stocks, cell expansion, evaluation of cellular functions, and differentiation induction for producing three-germ-layer tissue cells.

Chart:The current status of iPS cell research and their potential
The current status of iPS cell research and their potential

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  • MEXT
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency
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