The field of stem-cell biology has been catapulted forward by the startling development of reprogramming technology. The ability to restore pluripotency to somatic cells through the ectopic co-expression of reprogramming factors has created powerful new opportunities for modelling human diseases and offers hope for personalized regenerative cell therapies. While the field is racing ahead, some researchers are pausing to evaluate whether induced pluripotent stem cells are indeed the true equivalents of embryonic stem cells and whether subtle differences between these types of cell might affect their research applications and therapeutic potential.
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G.Q.D. is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (RO1-DK70055, RO1-DK59279 and UO1-HL100001, as well as special funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (RC2-HL102815), the Roche Foundation for Anemia Research, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. G.Q.D. is an affiliate member of the Broad Institute, a recipient of Clinical Scientist Awards in Translational Research from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research. We gratefully acknowledge A. de Los Angeles for providing the images for Fig. 1a, d, f; T. Onder, for Fig. 1b; and A. Cherry, for Fig. 1c, e.
G.Q.D. is a member of the scientific advisory boards and holds stock in, or receives consulting fees from, the following companies: Johnson & Johnson, Verastem, Epizyme, iPierian, Solasia Pharma and MPM Capital.
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Robinton, D., Daley, G. The promise of induced pluripotent stem cells in research and therapy. Nature 481, 295–305 (2012) doi:10.1038/nature10761
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