The NYSCF Conference is unique: it focuses on translational stem cell research, demonstrating the potential to advance cures for the major diseases of our time.
It is designed for those with an interest in translational medicine, including researchers, clinicians, patient advocates, government and health officials, graduate students, and industry. The panels on Wednesday are designed to reach a broader audience, including the lay public.
Neurology Today featured NYSCF – Helmsley Investigator Dr. Valentina Fossati’s latest research on multiple sclerosis in a larger story about Dr. Fossati and her personal commitment to see new treatments and cures to the clinic.
The research, published in Stem Cell Reports, describes the development of an accelerated protocol to derive oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells lost in multiple sclerosis, from induced pluripotent stem cells made from skin samples of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. This accelerated protocol vastly reduces the time needed to make these critical cells, enabling an accelerated path to new research goals and ultimately, treatments, and cures.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Gabsang Lee, of John's Hopkins University School of Medicine, was senior author on a Cell Stem Cell paper describing the successful reprograming of patients' skin cells into neural crest cells then adult cell types that display many biological features of familial dysautonomia, a rare genetic disorder.
Critically, the scientists developed a protocol that skips the induced pluripotent stem cell step, reducing the time needed to make neural crest cells that are more similar to familial dysautonomia patients' own cells by seven to nine months.
While less than 500 patients worldwide suffer from familial dysautonomia, dysfunctional neural crest cells cause a multitude of diseases including familial dysautonomia, facial malformations and an inability to feel pain among others. This research has the potential to transform and accelerate research on all neural crest disorders.
In conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC), NYSCF presented their latest Alzheimer’s research at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton. Presentations by NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Vice President for Stem Cell Research Dr. Scott Noggle, and President of ADRC Mary-Ann Ragona explored all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, treatment, and research.
In addition, NYSCF Leadership Council member Carol Roaman graciously hosted NYSCF scientists and guests at a cocktail reception at her house in East Hampton. Guests mingled and spoke with NYSCF scientists, learning about the latest advances in stem cell research for many disease areas such as multiple sclerosis, bone engineering, and Parkinson’s disease among many others.
NSYCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Marco Seandal of Weill Cornell Medical College published his latest research on how paternal age effects genetic mutations in Stem Cell Reports.
The scientists' experiments showed enhanced fitness of sperm stem cells with a specific age-related mutation. In addition, the scientists model will be useful for testing many different age-related genetic mutations carried by sperm to reveal mechanisms of disease.
Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, led by NYSCF Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Kevin Eggan, discovered a new, promising treatment for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. The research leading to this discovery began eight years ago and was initially and continuously supported by NYSCF.
Published in Science Translational Medicine, the scientists showed that genetically intervening in a biological pathway associated with ALS resulted in an increased survival rate of 5-10% in an animal model.
Critically, the scientists confirmed that this biological pathway is identical in animal models and in the human disease cells in a dish, forwshadowing the potential future elimination of animal model testing for ALS and other diseases.
Nature recently featured a profile on the education, background, and dynamic cross-discipline work of NYSCF Scientist Dr. Giuseppe Maria de Peppo. Dr. de Peppo focuses his research on engineering bone from stem cells using his background in technology and induced pluripotent stem cell research. His work developing the first ever vascularized bone tissue from stem cells was published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets globally.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator, Dr. Alex Meissner of Harvard University, mapped the methyl and demethylation patterns in human cells before and after fertilization. While this has previously been done extensively in mice, human DNA methylation patterns and changes are not fully understood.
The research, published in Nature, describes full genome DNA maps of methylation patterns in human cells during preimplantation development and embryonic stem cell derivation. The scientists confirmed that paternal genome demethylation is a general attribute of early mammalian development.