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April 01, 2010

CiRA reorganized as an independent research institute

April 1, 2010 - Effective today, the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), formerly associated with the Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell Material Sciences (ICeMS), has been redesignated as an independent research institute within the Kyoto University system under the directorship of Prof. Shinya Yamanaka.

The research programs at CiRA are organized into four divisions focused on basic biology, differentiation induction, clinical applications, and core facilities to carry out its mission of promoting seamlessly coordinated fundamental, preclinical and clinical studies using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

The Department of Reprogramming Science will seek to elucidate reprogramming mechanisms at the molecular level and to develop safe and efficient methods for the induction of pluripotency. In the Department of Cell Growth and Differentiation, scientists will strive to develop techniques for steering the differentiation of iPS and ES cells to specific lineages and to conduct preclinical studies of iPS-derived cell transplantation approaches in animal models to evaluate clinical potential.

In the Department of Clinical Application, research will focus on the generation and use of patient-derived iPS cells to study pathogenesis and disease mechanisms and the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. The Department of Regulatory Science will study regulatory developments impacting on iPS cell clinical applications and will develop support platforms and cell culture technologies for the iPS research community within and outside Kyoto University.

In addition to these scientific and clinical divisions, CiRA enjoys strong research support from the Research Strategy Division and the Administration Division. In all, a total of about 120 scientific and administrative staff will pursue the institute's mission at the newly constructed research facility, completed in February.

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