Updates on cell therapy research at HSCI

June 21, 2018

Advances in engineering blood cells, treating diabetes, regenerating joints, and growing organs

On May 31, 2018, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) faculty members shared their research updates at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Alumni Reunion symposium. Their work showcased the breadth of research being conducted across the HSCI network, both at Harvard University and its affiliated hospitals.

HSCI faculty at HMS symposium 2018
Left to right: HSCI faculty Douglas Melton, George Daley, Harald Ott, and April Craft, pictured with A. W. Karchmer, chair of Alumni Relations at HMS. Photo by Suzi Camarata Ball/HMS.


HSCI faculty highlights from the symposium:

  • George Daley, M.D. from HMS talked about his laboratory’s focus on creating a universal donor blood stem cell that would not trigger immune system attacks in patients with blood diseases such as leukemia.
  • Douglas Melton, Ph.D. from the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology talked about his laboratory’s successful transformation of human stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that could one day be used to treat diabetes. Melton said he believes that “it’s possible to change the course of diabetes by using cells rather than insulin.”
  • April Craft, Ph.D. from Boston Children’s Hospital discussed engineering stem cells to repair damaged and degenerating cartilage. Using developmental biology as a guide, Craft’s laboratory is coaxing stem cells to convert into cartilage cells.
  • Harald Ott, M.D. from Massachusetts General Hospital talked about regenerating whole organs for transplantation. His laboratory is using stem cells that provide “an unlimited supply of personalized building blocks for these tissues.”

Read the full news story, “Using Cells as Medicine,” on the Harvard Medical School website.