Stem cell research at Weill Cornell, The Rockefeller University, and Sloan-Kettering

In 2005, Weill Medical College of Cornell University launched a new stem cell center, the Ansary Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics, to focus on finding ways to boost the growth of adult stem cells for therapeutic purposes. Among Weill Cornell's pioneering contributions to stem cell biology are the discovery of vascular stem cells in the adult bone marrow that can contribute to wound healing and blood vessel growth in tumors, and the discovery of a specific type of fetal stem cell that can co-differentiate simultaneously into both muscle and blood vessel cells. One of Weill Cornell's most distinctive resources is its in vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratory, which features state-of-the-art reproductive biology focused on the basic science and clinical aspects of human embryonic stem cells. Blastocysts formed in the course of infertility treatment are an indispensable resource for establishing stable stem cell lines, and Weill Cornell plans to launch a facility to develop and maintain the appropriate embryonic stem cells for research. Weill Cornell's Belfer Gene Therapy Core Facility and its soon-to-be-opened Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Unit will be vital assets in the translation of basic stem cell biology into clinical medicine.

The Rockefeller University is widely recognized as a center of innovation in basic research to improve the scientific understanding of the biology of stem cells. Rockefeller scientists provided the first description of "stemness" in humans, the complete genetic overview that documents the ability of embryonic stem cells to self-renew and generate all cell types of the body; isolated stem cells from the skin of a mouse, and showed, for the first time, that an individual stem cell can renew itself in the laboratory and then be used in grafts to produce skin, hair and oil glands; and initiated experiments aimed at increasing the numbers and/or potency of insulin-producing cells that arise from laboratory cultures of mouse embryonic s

Contact: Anne Thomas
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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