2013

HSCI publishes clinical trial results for therapeutic that amplifies blood stem cells

October 8, 2013

Starting with a discovery in zebrafish in 2007, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have published initial results of a Phase Ib human clinical trial of a therapeutic that has the potential to improve the success of blood stem cell transplantation. This milestone, just nine short years after Harvard’s major commitment to stem cell biology, once again demonstrates the ability of HSCI investigators to carry a discovery from the lab bench to the clinic—fulfilling the promise on which the Institute was founded.... Read more about HSCI publishes clinical trial results for therapeutic that amplifies blood stem cells

Bone drug kills resistant cancer stem cells by making home unlivable

November 6, 2013

A bone drug already on the market for osteoporosis may kill chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) stem cells thought to persist in the bone marrow after standard therapy, lowering the likelihood of disease recurrence, according to a new study in mice led by researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Massachusetts General Hospital.... Read more about Bone drug kills resistant cancer stem cells by making home unlivable

Human muscle stem cell therapy gets help from zebrafish

November 7, 2013

Harvard Stem Cell Scientists have discovered that the same chemicals that stimulate muscle development in zebrafish can also be used to differentiate human stem cells into muscle cells in the laboratory, an historically challenging task that, now overcome, makes muscle cell therapy a more realistic clinical possibility.

The work, published this week in the journal Cell, began with a discovery by Boston Children’s Hospital researchers, led by...

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HSCI researchers regrow hair, cartilage, bone, soft tissues

November 7, 2013

Young animals are known to repair their tissues effortlessly, but can this capacity be recaptured in adults? A new study from Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that it can. By reactivating a dormant gene called Lin28a, which is active in embryonic stem cells, researchers were able to regrow hair and repair cartilage, bone, skin...

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Human clinical trials move forward with promising therapy for graft-verses-host disease

May 31, 2013

HSCI investigators have developed a better picture of why a recently discovered therapy for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is more effective than anything currently available to patients.

In 2011, human clinical trials showed that immune system signaling molecule interleukin 2 (IL-2) both improved GVHD symptoms in...

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Research on fruit fly intestines shows stem cell regeneration follows a circadian rhythm

June 7, 2013

Like humans, fruit flies are diurnal animals. They wake at dawn, eat what they can find, and sleep at dusk. This twenty-four-hour routine, called a circadian rhythm, is controlled by the sun’s light-dark cycle. The clock is set so a fly, or human, is primed to be active during the day and inactive at night.

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Mutation linked to male infertility

June 25, 2013

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have found a link between male infertility and a mutation in a gene critical for sperm production. If the gene, Elongator Protein 1/Inhibitor of KappaB Kinase-associated Protein (Elp1/IKAP), is turned off, male germ cells – which give rise to sperm – encounter errors during division...

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The origin of airway mucous

August 1, 2013

HSCI investigators have determined which of the three types of airway cells are primarily responsible for excess mucous production in pulmonary diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and bronchitis, hastening the day when it may be possible to develop treatments.

While studying asthma induced in mice, HSCI Principal Faculty...

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An HSCI approach to rhabdomyosarcoma

September 29, 2013

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare childhood cancer that arises in muscle stem cells. Between 250-350 cases are treated each year. The disease most commonly begins as a noticeable swelling in the arms, legs, head, neck, or groin, and is treated by surgical removal of the tumor, as well as chemotherapy or irradiation. Currently, about 80% of patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma survive, as the disease is often caught early enough for intervention.

In this feature, one senior investigator, one junior investigator, and one postdoctoral researcher—all working...

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Patient stem cells offer insight into origins of polycystic kidney disease

September 28, 2013

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists have identified a new therapeutic approach for treating polycystic kidney disease (PKD), one of the most common life threatening, inherited diseases in humans, affecting more than 1 in 500 individuals. Patients with the disease experience an abnormal proliferation of kidney cells that ultimately results in cysts and a decline in organ function leading to kidney failure.... Read more about Patient stem cells offer insight into origins of polycystic kidney disease

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