Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology may replace embryonic stem cells as the best hope for curing disease. Both embryonic and induced stem cells are pluripotent, which means they have the ability to become any type of cell that a person might need to overcome disease and lead a healthier life. To create iPSC, a patient’s own tissues are used. For example, a diabetic patient’s skin cells could be used to create iPSC, which could then be turned into healthy pancreatic islet cells that could be transplanted back to the patient, helping the patient’s body function more normally. In this way, iPSC does not raise the same ethical concerns that some have about embryonic stem cells. Importantly, iPSC can be produced in much larger quantities, as all that is needed is the patient’s own cells – and technology and expertise, the kind found at UVa.
To discuss collaborations with the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Core, contact Lead Researcher Araz Toumadje at firstname.lastname@example.org.