Advances welcomed in stem cell technology
AnthonyCutrupi, a researcher completing his
During his stay in Miami, Anthony studied under Assistant Professor Mario Saporta and
“The purpose was to learn how to maintain and use the cell lines called induced pluripotent stem cell lines – that is, they are stem cells from which nerves can develop – so we can use them in researching
“You can’t get spinal cord tissue from living humans so the only way to do that is to have some form of stem cell technology. We can take skin cells from affected individuals and using exciting new discoveries (awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine) we can now turn those skin cells into stem cells, then turn the stem cells into
“It’s a really exciting prospect for us here because we have families without mutations in known genes. These families are good candidates in which we can now use these stem cell-derived motor neurons to help us better understand the genetic changes occurring in the nerves of patients with CMT and similar diseases.”
Work is under way to establish the stem cell lines at the ANZAC laboratory and to train other staff to grow and maintain them, giving researchers a powerful new tool as they seek therapies for neurological diseases.