Over the past 15 years, it has been shown that most tissues possess, to a greater or lesser extent, the ability to regenerate thanks to the presence of stem and/or progenitor cells. This is the basis of what we know as regenerative medicine. The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in the consolidation of the concept of cell reprogramming has allowed cell therapy to become one of the essential pillars of the medicine of the future. The researchers of the Cell Therapy Program are studying the mechanisms involved in the biology of stem cells (self-renewal, differentiation, reprogramming, and maintaining pluripotency) and their therapeutic application in cardiovascular disease, osteoarticular disease, rare metabolic diseases (such as primary hyperoxaluria) and rare muscle diseases (such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy), and the application of new advanced-therapy products.
In particular, we are working on cells derived from bone marrow and from adipose tissue, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, heart cells obtained using direct reprogramming strategies and from directed differentiation of iPS cells, myogenic precursors, and endothelial cells. We are focusing on obtaining and characterizing the cells and studying their function and therapeutic use.
Our specific objects are the following:
To identify and characterize populations of stem cells and the mechanisms involved in tissue repair and regeneration.
To validate the application of cell-therapy and tissue-engineering therapeutic strategies based on endogenous repair mechanisms in experimental models.
To establish proof-of-concept studies by means of clinical trials of advanced therapies.
The use of cell therapy requires specific regulations, which means that certain requirements must be met in order to manipulate cells and use them for therapeutic purposes.