Greetings from Director
In April of this year (2010) the new Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering opened at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
The Center opened based on year-long discussions, thanks to the guidance and great efforts of many people at AIST, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Our Center has four missions.
1. To achieve standardization of human stem cells and to develop an infrastructure base for industrial applications, for example, to regenerative medicine and drug discovery.
2. To establish safe, highly efficient stem cell establishment methods and efficient stem cell fate specification technology.
3. To apply engineering technology to stem cell drug discovery screening and accelerate the development of new drugs.
4. To use new databases to construct a stem-cell regenerative medicine engineering technology infrastructure.
We intend to carry out these missions not simply as a result of the three existing teams coming together, but by creating a new stem cell research center and performing joint research with the many excellent investigators at AIST. Although referred to as stem cells, they consist of somatic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, ES cells, iPS cells, etc., but only a very few have reached the stage of practical application. More specifically, since there is wide variation in the properties of the iPS cells that have reached the stage of practical application, which numerous investigators around the world are currently in the course of studying, standardization and normalization will be essential to using them as tools for treatment and drug discovery. Fortunately, at AIST we have been engaged in regulating or normalizing in a wide range of fields over many years. Normalizing the cells will be a major undertaking, and we have heard many opinions, including that it might not even be possible. Nevertheless, we think that taking up the challenge will be linked to the development of this field. Moreover, we would like to take a new approach by applying the world-class fate specification technology that our group possesses. We also wish to interact with investigators in Japan and abroad, including by conducting joint research with investigators both within and outside AIST, and to play a part in the development of stem cell research worldwide.
I greet you here today with a request for your wholehearted support and cooperation in achieving these missions.
Director, Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering
Makoto Asashima, Ph.D.
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
PhoneF+81-29-861-2529 FAXF+81-29-861-2987 E-mailFstemcell_cfirstname.lastname@example.org