BX-029 Frisén - Lundeberg
Project Summary: Objectives, expected results, summary of the Project plan
The realization of the existence of stem cells in adult organs opens the prospect of stimulating cell replacement in a large number of diseases. Stem cells are notoriously difficult to identify and the lack of means to identify and characterize these cells is the most significant impediment for exploiting this new area of biomedicine for the potential development of new therapies. We have devised a strategy that enables the in vivo identification and characterization of stem cells in adult organs as well as the role of genes of interest in stem cell function and transcriptional regulation. The strategy can be used to study any stem cell population in any tissue at any developmental stage, and is thus generally applicable. The main novelty of the proposed strategy is that is brings together recent developments in engineering and bioinformatics with biomedical research to allow an unprecedented analysis of stem cell biology. We will initially employ this strategy to characterize stem cells in the adult brain. We have selected the brain both because of our experience and know-how in this field as well as the large unmet medical need in neurological diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, where the possibility of neuronal replacement from endogenous stem cells represents a novel therapeutic approach. Significant advances have been made both in cell transplantation and cell replacement from endogenous cells the last decades. Hematopoietic stem cell and skin transplantation is today an integral part of clinical medicine. The stimulation of cell replacement from endogenous cells has been enormously successful with the discovery of endogenous molecules stimulating blood cell production. The identification of stem cells and their molecular regulation in other organs will facilitate the development of novel therapies in regenerative medicine.
Keywords for the project (to be found in international databases)
Stem cell, regeneration, high-throughput screening, bioinformatics, mutagenesis, tissue engineering