|Megumu Saito M.D., Ph.D.
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Our group conducts research in collaboration with a group led by Professor Tatsutoshi Nakahata regarding the pathological analysis and development of therapy using iPS cells specific to pediatric intractable diseases. The causes of, and treatment methods for, many of these intractable diseases that occur during childhood are still unknown. People may have to live their entire lives with the disease. Innovation of diagnostic and treatment methods through the application of iPS cells is therefore desired. For cases of diseases in which thorough analysis using mouse models or cultured cell lines is not feasible, in order to understand the pathology, it is useful to apply disease-specific iPS cells. The main diseases being studied in our research are: immune disorders (immunodeficiency diseases, autoimmune syndrome) and blood diseases (hematopoietic failure, genomic instability syndrome). In order to understand the diseases in a cross-sectoral manner, disease models using iPS cell-derived neurons have been created during the joint research between the Inoue and Jun Takahashi laboratories. In cases of congenital abnormalities, abnormalities often occur in multiple organs, e.g. the hematopoietic organs and the organs of the nervous system; therefore, we would like to conduct research using iPS cells to find out what kind of effects crosstalk between various cells, e.g. between immune cells and between nerve cells as well as between blood cells and stromal cells, may have on the pathology of the disease. With regard to some of these diseases, disease specific phenotypes are reproduced in order to conduct drug screening to suppress them. We will do our best to facilitate our research so as to assist the recovery of as many patients as possible.