A team of scientists led by the NYSCF Research Institute's Dr. Dieter Egli report the first ever patient-specific, diploid (i.e. with two sets of chromosomes, the normal number in human cells) embryonic stem cell line created from an adult with type 1 diabetes using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Furthermore, the scientists were able to induce these stem cells into becoming beta cells, the insulin-producing cells lost in type 1 diabetes. The work was published in Nature.
This pioneering work marks a huge step forward in the quest to develop healthy stem cells from a patient that could be used to replace diseased or dead cells of that same patient, e.g. with type 1 diabetes. This advancement toward potential regenerative cell replacement therapies is significant not only for diabetes but also for many other diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and damaged bones, among others.
While there remain additional research hurdles to overcome before this work can reach the clinic, NYSCF scientists and collaborators have once again taken the lead in breaking down barriers to treatments and cures for the major disease of our time.