Yamanaka speaks of 10 years from iPS discovery

Yamanaka speaks of 10 years from iPS discovery

Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka says he will continue his research in stem cell technology to use it in treating patients. The Nobel Laureate is known for discovering iPS cells.

Yamanaka was speaking at a symposium in Boston on Wednesday to recognize progress in research and clinical application of iPS cells. It was part of the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

A decade has passed since Yamanaka succeeded in creating induced pluripotent stem cells that can grow into cells of any tissue or organ.

Yamanaka explained the status of an ongoing study to use iPS cells to treat patients suffering from an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration. Retinal tissues made from iPS cells are transplanted into patients.

He explained how researchers are using a special kind of iPS cell that is less susceptible to rejection. This treatment can be applied to many patients.

He also reported progress in research aimed at unraveling the mechanism of a rare disorder that causes muscles to turn into bones. He said the study using iPS cells derived from a patient's cell has led to discovery of a substance that could be effective in treating the disorder.

A researcher from Chile who was in the audience voiced respect for Yamanaka's approach. He said Yamanaka not only created iPS cells, but is also an advocate of using research results in treating patients. He said this is changing the mindset of other researchers.