Generation of Donor Induced Pluripotent Stem (IPS) Cells for Research

Study code
CBR38

Lead researcher
Professor Roger Pederson

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type
Academic

Speciality area
Haematology

Recruitment Site
Cambridge

Summary

Over the last three years, many genes have been discovered with the help of thousands of NHS patients  and  healthy  volunteers  such  as  blood  donors.  These  genes  have  been  associated  with different disease risks. The next step is to discover the mechanisms by which these genes modify the risk of disease, and we are planning to use Induced Pluripotent Stem (IPS) cells to study these mechanisms  in  diseases  such  as  cardiovascular  disease,  diabetes,  neurological  disease  and haematological disorders amongst others.

IPS cells are believed to be identical to embryonic stem cells but they have the advantage of not being derived from human embryos. Another benefit of IPS cell technology is that it allows for the creation of cell lines that are genetically customized to an individual; this allows scientists to study the relationship between the genetic make-up (genotype) of individuals with their characteristics or traits (phenotype). 

IPS cells can be grown in the laboratory from healthy individuals. They  can  be  produced  from  skin  cells  and  work  is  currently  being carried out to try and obtain IPS cells from blood. IPS cells have a great potential to make different cell types and we hope that this will help us to understand more about the mechanisms of different diseases and what genes are involved.