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Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 12:00 - 13:30

Leader of the First Ever In-human Clinical Study Using iPS cells
Masayo Takahashi
Project Leader, Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration Center for Developmental Biology, RIKEN
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English

 Masayo Takahashi garnered headlines with a world first in September when surgeons implanted tissue her team derived from induced pluripotent stems (iPS) cells into the eye of an elderly patient suffering from macular degeneration. It was the first use of iPS cells in a human. But it was no surprise in the scientific community. For several years, Takahashi has reported at conferences and in papers her step-by-step progress in turning a very basic finding into a possible clinical treatment. At this luncheon, Takahashi will explain how she took a biomedical discovery from the lab bench to the bedside and the prospects of this procedure for future clinical use.

 Takahashi is building on work by Shinya Yamanaka, who discovered how to create iPS cells from mature cells in 2006. Yamanaka won a Nobel Prize for this work in 2012. In theory, iPS cells, like other types of stem cells, can develop into any of the cell types within a body. Takahashi and her team figured out how to turn iPS cells into retinal pigment epithelial cells, the cells that degrade in those suffering macular degeneration, a major cause of impaired vision in the elderly. The team then had to try the experimental procedure in lab animals and clear multiple regulatory hurdles to get permission to launch her current safety trial.

 Takahashi, 53, earned both an MD and PhD from Kyoto University and has specialized in ophthalmology as both a researcher and clinician. She is one of the relatively few women in Japan heading a significant scientific research project. She is also in the spotlight as one of the global leaders in the emerging and very competitive field of regenerative medicine.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/members' guest is 1,750/2,700 yen; non-members including guest-members eligible to attend may pay in cash. (Menu: flatfish meunière with herb and butter sauce.) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.

*Working Pressは1時間、Associate, non-memberは24時間以内のキャンセルはフルチャージとなりますのでご注意ください。なおキャンセルは電話でのみ承ります。

Professional Activities Committee

Nov 26 14 PL Masayo Takahashi053




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