ISSCR Day 1: Escaping the ground state of pluripotency

Author: David Kent, 06/24/16

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research got off to a fantastic start Wednesday night in San Francisco. Two excellent sessions were delivered to a packed house with talks ranging from the importance of circular RNAs (Pier Paolo Pandolfi) through to a pretty incredible description of the cellular biomechanics of…Read more

Cell Therapy Deal Review: May

Author: Mark Curtis, 06/23/16

Welcome to your deal review for the month of May. Intellia Therapeutics went public this past month giving investors a second shot on net if they want to gain exposure to gene editing technologies. Caladrius Biosciences spun-out its cell-based immunotherapy to AiVita Medical, as the company pivots to focus on Treg therapies for autoimmune diseases…Read more

Highlights from the World Biomaterials Congress Part II: Stepping up delivery strategies

Author: Samantha Payne, 06/20/16

This post is the second of two covering the World Biomaterials Congress. To read my previous blog about the use of biomaterials to study cell behaviour and differentiation in vitro, please click here. This post will cover the use of biomaterials for in vivo delivery strategies. Cartilage, despite its essential role in the movement of…Read more

Right Turn: Could this rhino-sized rescue plan really work?

Author: Alanna Evans, 06/17/16

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Fish and chips. Some things are just better paired together. But there’s one combination you’d never expect to see: surrogate rhinos and stem cells.    With just three northern white rhinos left on earth, it looks like this unlikely duo may soon become a reality. An international team…Read more

Ugly duckling spreads its wings

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic, 06/13/16

  When Dr. Andras Nagy, a Senior Scientist at Sinai Health System’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, set out to catalogue molecular events behind reprogramming — a process of making stem cells in a dish ­— he did not expect to uncover a new kind of stem cell. But not everyone was enchanted, and Nagy…Read more

Right Turn: Canadian procedure stops MS in some patients

Author: Stacey Johnson, 06/10/16

In 2002, Jennifer Molson received a stem cell transplant for her aggressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS), diagnosed six years earlier when she was 21. This unique treatment for MS – transplanting blood stem cells from a patient’s own bone marrow to replace the diseased immune system – is now the subject of an article…Read more

Highlights from the World Biomaterials Congress Part I: The push and pull of cell behaviour

Author: Samantha Payne, 06/07/16

The World Biomaterials Congress (WBC), which takes place once every four years, happened last month. Among the many excellent presentations at WBC, two themes related to cell-based therapies stood out: 1) the use of biomaterials to study cell behaviour and differentiation in vitro, which I will discuss here, and 2) the use of biomaterials to…Read more

Right Turn: If you don’t love the skin you’re in

Author: Stacey Johnson, 06/03/16

Have you ever wanted to shed your skin? I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense like becoming a different person, free of all the old baggage we accumulate in life. And I’m not talking about CCRM’s new logo and colours either, but thanks for noticing. (Shameless.) I mean literally have new skin, maybe skin that…Read more

Ethics for early career stem cell researchers – are we missing a trick?

Author: David Kent, 05/31/16

Throughout the last decade, I have undertaken research in the stem cell field in two countries (Canada and the United Kingdom) and while my work has never involved the ethically contentious human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, I have interacted with dozens of scientists whose research does involve ES cells. If you ever ask the…Read more

Right Turn: On the right track to health and prosperity

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/27/16

The subway map is a popular metaphor for showing how to get from point A to point B with many stops along the way. It can be simple, with only a few intersecting lines of tracks – Toronto’s (shockingly inadequate) two-line system comes to mind – or complicated, like Beijing and New York City, to…Read more