OHSU Scientist Pushes Forward With Stem Cell Research

Contributed By:

Dave Blanchard

OPB | May 22, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Updated: May 22, 2014 1:51 p.m.

An egg cell's nucleus is extracted by apipette.


This March, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) created a new Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy. The facility will be focused in part on advancing the work of Shoukhrat Mitalipov, one of the worlds leading researchers on embryonic stem cells. Mitalipov has been working for years on two promising areas of stem cellscience.

The first research area is a gene therapy for women with diseases stored in DNA located in their mitochondria. Mitalipovs lab has developed a technique to extract the nucleus from a cell with damaged mitochondrial DNA, and implant it in a cell with healthy mitochondria. The process would allow most of the mothers DNA to be inherited by her child, without the risk of the mitochondrial diseases. Mitalipov hopes to begin clinical trials of the procedure, and the FDA is in the process of deciding whether to approve the technique soon. Some critics have ethical and medical concerns about creating an embryo with DNA from three differentpeople.

The second area, which has garnered even more attention, is the field of embryonic stem cell cloning. Last May, Mitalipovs lab became the first team to create human embryonic stem cells by cloning a breakthrough that was highlighted by Nature, Discover, Science, and National Geographic as one of the most significant science stories of the year. Now Miltalipovs lab is trying to figure out how to further that field ofresearch.

Well check in with Mitalipov to hear about his hopes for his areas of research, and where he thinks the future holds for stem cell science and genetherapy.

Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust

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OHSU Scientist Pushes Forward With Stem Cell Research

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