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In the NYSCF laboratory, our scientists are conducting cutting-edge stem cell research to cure the major diseases of our time.
NYSCF's expertise in all current human stem cell techniques to create disease models provides an essential resource for researchers and clinicians to more fully understand the mechanisms of diseases. The demand for a specialized environment in which to conduct the most advanced stem cell research has been so great that NYSCF's lab has grown ten-fold to meet the need and is now recognized as a leading stem cell research laboratory.
NYSCF provides leadership and vital support for the most advanced forms of stem cell research and performs and supports translational research focused directly on curing disease. NYSCF supported two of the three most important breakthroughs in stem cell research in the past several years, including the creation of the first patient-specific stem cell lines for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and the successful reprogramming of pancreatic cells. Experiments to create genetic models of types 1 and 2 diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease with human embryonic stem cells are underway in the NYSCF Laboratory.
Stem cell research holds the promise of allowing us to overcome one of the most challenging problems in studying human disease: understanding its precise origin.
Our goal at NYSCF is to better understand the underlying causes of disease and then to accelerate development of more effective therapies. Our research portfolio includes the creation of a genetically diverse array of disease-specific stem cell lines which will allow us to model human diseases and screen for possible drug compounds that could be used to slow or prevent further progression.
The NYSCF laboratory is one of the few places in the world where the technologies to create embryonic stem cells, induced pluriportent stem cells (iPS), and cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer are being developed.
NYSCF works with the major medical research institutions throughout New York State, the United States, and around the world to support and enable the most advanced stem cell research. Collaborative projects include research on diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, ALS, schizophrenia, cardiac disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, SMA, cancer, retinopathies, and spinal cord injury.
The NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array
- Building a bank of 2,500 stem cell lines representing the genetic diversity of the United States and the world.
- This revolutionary global resource will equalize access for safe and effective medicine for EVERYBODY including underserved populations.
- This critical step between animal testing and human testing will transform drug development by cutting down years of time and billions of dollars currently spent on human clinical trials and ultimately accelerating the approval of new drugs and therapies by the FDA.
Create Human Disease Models for Disease
- Creating research teams to tackle diseases such as ALS, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, spinal cord injury and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and auto-immune diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Continuing to pursue bench to bedside translational research that will lead to clinical applications.
Drug Discovery Initiative Facilitating the Development of Safe Cures
- Once disease models are created “in a dish,” we have the opportunity to test thousands of small molecules – the building blocks of drugs – against the cells that are directly affected by disease.
- This serves as an important bridge between academic research and biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
Current Disease Specific Research Projects
Neurodegenerative Diseases of the Brain (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's Disease): NYSCF is generating iPS cell lines from a range of diverse clinical samples to study the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. In addition, NYSCF is working to improve methods for deriving human embryonic stem cell lines from cells genetically diagnosed to have Huntington's disease. These lines will be critical as a gold standard to compare other methods for generating disease-specific cell lines.
Diabetes: NYSCF is generating stem cell lines from patients with diabetes using reprogramming technologies. These lines will be used to study genetic and molecular influences in Type 1 and monogenic forms of diabetes. This pioneering research is aimed to not only prevent, treat, and cure this disease that affects millions of people worldwide, but to also understand what the triggers are that cause it.
Bone Regeneration: NYSCF is using iPS cells and embryonic stem cells to produce personalized human bone grafts that will be used to treat and repair damaged bones. These bone grafts will be patient-specific, avoiding immune rejection. This will be the first time we will have vascularized bone grafts that are engineered using human cells.
Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT): NYSCF researchers are among the leaders in the very small group of scientists in the world who are developing the revolutionary technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer. In SCNT, the genetic material or "DNA" of an unfertilized egg is replaced with the genetic material from a patient's cell. If the patient has a particular disease (e.g. diabetes, Parkinson's, ALS), SCNT would allow the reprogramming of their adult cells into disease-specific stem cell lines that now carry the patients own form of disease. This new technique would provide scientists with enormous potential for the study and treatment of many debilitating diseases, including replacement of damaged tissue. The importance of this new technology is that the cell lines would be genetically identical to the patient, and thus would dramatically reduce the risk of cell therapy rejection through the body's immune response.