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Outline of SCRC

The Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering was established on April 1, 2010, with an aim to reveal the nature and control the differentiation of stem cells.
In this center, evaluation methods to accurately determine the state of stem cells in terms of their differentiation potential, by integrated analysis of the relationship between comprehensive information on gene expression and glycosylation and being developed.
In addition, safe and efficient methods to establish stem cells using a novel gene transfer technology, techniques to improve the efficiency to induce differentiation of stem cells into various types of tissues, and practical application of screening methods using microfabrication to accelerate the pharmaceutical application of the basic technologies to regulate stem cells are strongly promoted.

≪Development of evaluation methods for defining human stem cells≫
The undifferentiated state and differentiation tendency of stem cells are considered to vary depending on their source, establishment and culture methods. Therefore, we perform integrated analyses of comprehensive gene expression and glycosylation profiles in numerous human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and their relationship with the differentiation potential of stem cells. From the results of the analysis we construct the basic profile information to use as a standard for accurate evaluation of stem cells, such as ES or/and iPS cells and develop analytical methods, with an aim to improve the precision of measurement methods for determining reliable stem cells.

≪Development of high-efficiency methods to establish safe human stem cells≫
We develop high-efficiency methods to establish safe human stem cells using persistent expression-type RNA vectors. In addition, these methods will be applied for the development of techniques to induce differentiation of stem cells and techniques of rapid mass production of proteins such as candidate for biopharmaceuticals.

≪Screening of factors regulating the differentiation of stem cells using a model organism≫
Using an excellent model organism (Xenopus laevis) in which organogenesis can be easily induced in vitro, we make a blueprint of organogenesis that is required for efficient regulation of the differentiation of human stem cells, and perform screening of differentiation regulatory factors to efficiently and selectively induce stem cells to differentiate.

≪Development of methods to efficiently regulate the differentiation of stem cells≫
Using the differentiation regulatory factors identified in the above model organism, we develop various technologies to efficiently differentiate ES cells, iPS cells and tissue stem cells into target cells, Our goal is to apply these technologies for regenerative medicine and drug discovery.

≪Practical application of screening techniques≫
By applying new cell manipulation and sensing techniques, we develop cell assay methods that are superior to current screening techniques for pharmaceutical lead compounds. It is anticipated that such technical development will reduce the cost of compound screening that accounts for a large proportion of the development costs in the current pharmaceutical industry and will shorten the screening period.


Contact

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST)
Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering

1-1-1 Higashi, Central 4, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8562, JAPAN
Phone:0   FAX:+81-29-861-2987   E-mail:stemcell_c-ml@aist.go.jp

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