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Research Interests

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.