|Makoto Ikeya Ph.D.
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By using iPS cell technology, we are currently focusing on incurable diseases that occurred in mesenchymal tissues such as bone and cartilage, and of which effective treatment has not been developed.
Human body contains approximately 60 trillion cells, and all of them are to be disposed at proper locations and to play pivotal roles. Due to various causes, however, the cells are accidentally lost or their functions are impaired. Cell transplantation can be applicable for lost of the cells and functional impairment could be restored through investigation of molecular mechanisms of disease occurrence.
iPS cells can be applied in both cases; with the former, development of an efficient induction methods into specific cell types or tissues enables us to use these cells as a source of xenograft, and for the latter, in-depth analyses by using disease-specific iPS cells will lead drug innovation. In our laboratory, we are mainly employing this latter approach to tackle with refractory osteochondropathies. Moreover, we are establishing a differentiation methods from human iPS cells to mesenchymal cells, which is necessary in the process of diseases recapitulation. We are also establishing iPS cells of medium-sized animals necessary for preclinical applications. Our aim is to develop a new remedy for incurable diseases through these series of approaches.