The Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) is a joint effort between Boston University and Boston Medical Center that nucleates eight principal investigators addressing different aspects of developmental biology, stem cells and cell lineage specification with a major focus on induced Pluripotent Stem Cells or iPSC. With the motto of “Advancing Science to Heal the World” at the CReM we aim at better understanding the biological principles that guide cellular identity and tissue formation to develop the next generation tools for regenerative medicine.
What are iPS Cells? Induced pluripotent stem cells are derived from the donated skin or blood cells of adults and, with the reactivation of four genes, are reprogrammed back to an embryonic stem cell-like state. Like embryonic stem cells, iPS cells can be differentiated toward any cell type in the body, but they do not require the use of embryos. Since this discovery our knowledge about iPS cells has exponentially expanded.
The CReM maintains a state-of-the-art bank of frozen iPSC lines that have been derived by the CReM investigators. The ‘stem cell cassette’ lentiviral vector (STEMCCA), engineered at Boston University, was employed to derive many of the mouse and human iPSC lines housed in our bank. Many of these lines feature ‘knock-in’ genes that allow sophisticated tracking and purification of progenitors or more mature tissue-specific differentiated cells that can be derived in culture from the undifferentiated iPSCs. The CReM iPSC Core maintains frozen aliquots of our iPSC lines and makes these lines readily available to all Boston University and external investigators. In addition, ‘standard operating procedures’ (SOPs) are maintained and made available to CReM investigators allowing them to document how each cell line has been derived.