Thursday, April 5, 2012

Big advance against cystic fibrosis

Stem cell researchers create lung surface tissue in a dish

Harvard stem cell researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have taken a critical  step in making possible the discovery in the relatively near future of a drug to control cystic fibrosis, a fatal lung disease that claims about 500 lives each year, with 1,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Beginning with the skin cells of patients with CF, Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, and colleagues first created induced pluripotent stem cells, and then used those cells to create human disease-specific functioning lung epithelium, the tissue that lines the airways and is the site of the most lethal aspect of CF, where the genes cause irreversible lung disease and inexorable respiratory failure.

Link to full Harvard Stem Cell Institute release

Link to MGH news article, including link to video

Kory Dodd,, 617-726-0274

Harvard Stem Cell Institute: B.D. Colen,, 617-495-7821

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