Translational Research Now Possible Through the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core

The Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core (HPSSC) is a newly revamped facility committed to work with UNC investigators as well as outside collaborators to initiate projects using human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells and human embryonic stem (hES) cells.

The reprogramming technology became available a few years ago when scientists proved that a somatic cell could be de-differentiated to a stem cell state. The vision and creativity of this technology is emphasized by its potential use in personalized therapy; induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells represent a new and exciting avenue to generate patient-specific stem cells. Moreover, because iPS cells are made from a patient’s own cells the difficulties associated with tissue rejection are eliminated. Importantly, iPS cells derived from patients with various diseases represent an invaluable research tool to study the mechanism of diseases and to identify new therapies.

 HPSCC is equipped to generate iPS cells from a variety of somatic cell types using lentiviral transduction however integration-free reprogramming will soon be a service offered by the Core. Generation of integration-free iPS cells will allow for their direct use in translational applications. Derivation of hiPS cells is just one of the resources that the HPSC Core offers. The study of the human ES cells offers an invaluable insight into the early human development and the unprecedented opportunity to study the molecular mechanisms underlying pluripotency and differentiation. Thus, hES cells represent a potentially unlimited source of cells for cell replacement therapies as well as drug screening studies. HPSC Core has available several federally approved human ES cell lines. Protocols have been established in the HPSC Core to differentiate both hiPS and hES cells into a variety of cell types. Housed in Taylor Hall, the hPSC Core is equipped with all the reagents necessary to generate iPS cells, to expand hES cells as well as for differentiation studies. Please visit the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core website for more information.