NAKAUCHI Stem Cell and Organ Regeneration

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Research Director: Hiromitsu NAKAUCHI
(Professor and Director, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo)
Research Term: 2007-2012


Currently, organ failure (e.g., kidney, liver, heart) is treated either with an artificial organ or by organ transplantation. However, both approaches have fundamental problems such as medical cost, ethical issues, and absolute shortage of organ donors. As an alternative, regenerative medicine utilizing stem cells has been a focus of attention. Current stem cell therapy, however, mainly targets diseases that can be treated by cell transplantation. This is because organogenesis requires complex interactions among cells and organs during development, making regeneration of a solid organ effectively impractical to date.

The goal of this project is to generate donor ES or iPS cell-derived solid organs in xenogenic animals using blastocyst complementation. The potential of this experimental system will be examined in large animal models. The results provided by this project should lead to better understanding of organogenesis and ultimately to generation of various solid organs to help patients with organ failure and to provide human materials for drug discovery and health-care related industries.



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