Dept. of Clinical Application
Akitsu Hotta (Junior Associate Professor)
Akitsu Hotta Ph.D.
By steering induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to differentiate into cells of various lineages capable of physiological function within the body, it may one day be possible to develop revolutionary cell-based medical treatments that overcome the problems of immune rejection and donor shortages. However, a number of hurdles remain to be cleared, such as the development of reliable methods for selecting high-quality iPS cells and the elimination of the risks of teratoma formation or the inadvertent inclusion of undifferentiated cells, before clinical applications can be achieved.
In my previous work, I used viral vector transgene delivery systems and epigenetic regulation of transcription to drive the undifferentiated pluripotent stem cell-specific expression of GFP and drug-resistance genes as a high-efficiency method of selecting human iPS cells. Through this work, I have engaged in the search for novel reprogramming factors as well as research into the derivation of various patient-specific iPS cell lines and the intra-nuclear changes that accompany the reprogramming process. Taking advantage of my experience in these areas, I will seek to develop techniques for the generation and selection of safer human iPS cells and novel iPS-based gene therapy approaches to the treatment of hemophilia and other genetic conditions.