Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Basic Biology & Clinical Applications

Professor Moustapha Kassem
Faculty of Science Visiting Professorial Fellow; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark & University of Odense
16 August 2012 - 12:00pm
Rountree Room 356, Level 3, Biological Sciences

Anyone wishing to arrange a meeting with Professor Robinson should contact the BABS School Office.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are among the first stem cell types to be introduced in therapy for tissue regeneration. MSC are clonogenic cells that are in the bone marrow and the stroma compartment of a large number of tissues. MSC are capable for differentiation into several mesodermal-type lineages including osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. The aim of our research program is to understand the biological characteristics of hMSC to allow for their use in clinical applications. 

I will discuss a number of projects that have been carried out in my lab including:

a) Approaches to isolate homogenous population of hMSC with stem cell characteristics using specific prospective criteria
b) One major challenge for use of hMSC in clinical application is their limited in vitro proliferative potential and the senescence-associated growth arrest phenotype exhibited by the cells during in vitro expansion. I will present results from studies showing that transducing hMSC with human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) extended the life span of the cells and maintained their “stemness” characteristics
c)  Studies on signalling pathways that control differentiation of MSC into osteoblastic cells. I will also present the status of some current clinical trials employing MSC for a number of clinical indications.