For outsiders, it's easy to get confused about the status of stem cell science. If you have questions, a recent Stanford Magazine article offers a reader-friendly entrée.
The piece introduces the pioneering work of Irving Weissman, MD, who was the first researcher to isolate stem cells from adult tissue. And it highlights the amazing outcome from a recent clinic trial on stem cell therapy for stroke led by neurosurgeon Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD. One woman who used a wheelchair often before the procedure no longer needed it following the procedure. As Steinberg said in the article:
This was a huge surprise... We thought the circuits were dead or irreversibly injured, but they’re clearly not; they can be resurrected. We’re still trying to figure out exactly how we are resurrecting them.
Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, co-director of the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, is one of the researchers working to bring the innovative basic science work taking place at Stanford into the clinic.
"My mission is to help the university to build a brand in stem cell therapy," she explained. "What we are now pushing into the clinic is just the tip of the iceberg... But what we really want to build is a translational research program that would allow all the potential stem cell therapies to surface and be offered to patients in need."
Previously: Stem cells create faithful replicas of native tissue, according to Stanford study, Stroke of luck: Stem-cell transplants show strong signs of efficacy in clinical safety trial for stroke and Stanford scientists describe stem-cell and gene-therapy advances in scientific symposium
Image by Ghanson