The major focus of my research is human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). hESCs are pluripotent cells derived from early surplus human embryos (5-6 days after fertilization). These embryos were created for infertility treatment purposes through in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures and donated to research. hESCs are unique since they can self-renew infinitely in culture and also have a remarkable potential to develop into all cells and tissues of the human body.
I was among the world pioneers in deriving ES cell lines from human embryos (Reubinoff et al., Nature Biotechnology, 2000). I am mainly interested in the development of the technology that may eventually allow the exploitation of hESCs for regenerative medicine.
Our center focuses on the following scientific aims:
Development of hESC lines suitable for clinical transplantation use.
Derivation of progeny from these hESC lines for the treatment of neural and retinal degenerative disorders. Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd, the biotech company I founded, is currently conducting a clinical trial of transplantation of hESC-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Derivation of gametes from hESCs.
Development of new hESC lines from abnormal pre-implantation genetically diagnosed (PGD) embryos and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model and study the pathogenesis of human diseases such as ALS and CP.
Characterizing the immunogenicity of hESCs and their progeny.
The use of stem cells to improve womens' health.