The Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute (RMI) brings together research faculty and clinicians to provide a true "bench to bedside" organization. We have five key program areas: Brain, Eye, Pancreas and Liver, Blood and Skeletal.
Work within each of these programs benefits from our core facilities with a focus on generating induced pluripotent stem cells from adult human skin samples and optimizing differentiation into various tissues of the human body of interest to the six programs. The pluripotent cells are used to both increase our understanding of human diseases through modeling, and provide a foundation for pre-clinical studies aimed at establishing and validating cellular therapeutic approaches to human illness.
- Bring together researchers and clinicians across the spectrum of departments at Cedars-Sinai to work in the area of regenerative medicine
- Provide core services and an environment that enhances this research
- Facilitate the recruitment of specialists involved with regenerative medicine
- Educate and train a new generation of clinical scientists in regenerative medicine
- Provide a central source of information on regenerative medicine through RMI's website
- Provide outreach and support to the Greater Los Angeles community regarding stem cells and regenerative medicine
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a new and developing field that aims to restore function in diseased or aged tissues through either revitalizing existing cells, or the transplantation of new cells. Revitalization could occur through the addition of powerful growth factors to the body, or modulating the immune system in a way that enhances cell survival and function.
Stem cells are of great interest to regenerative medicine. They lie deep within most tissues of the adult body, but are often difficult to manipulate or expand outside the body. Stem cells in the bone marrow are responsible for blood production and play a major role our immune defense system. Stem cells may lie at the heart of some cancers and their biology may lead to interesting new approaches to reducing tumor growth. Stem cells also reside in the adult heart and can be manipulated and grown outside the body - then transplanted back into the same patient. Embryonic stem cells can be isolated from human embryos (hES cells) and expanded to enormous numbers in the culture dish while remaining pluripotent - capable of generating all tissues of the human body.
Very recently, stem cells from the adult human body have been reprogrammed back to an embryonic stem cell state. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are important for regenerative medicine as they can be derived from a single patient, turned into any tissue of the body, and then used as a source of autologous cells for repair - thus avoiding immune rejection issues.
Furthermore, the use of iPS cells is not burdened with the ethical issues associated with the collection and destruction of human embryos. Finally, iPS cells derived from patients with specific diseases may be used as novel and important models of human disorders.