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"Therapeutic Cloning": Where Do We Go From Here?

Organized by Douglas C. Wallace, Susan V. Bryant, and Peter J. Donovan

October 8-9, 2007
Irvine, CA

Meeting Overview:
Cell therapies based on the use of pluripotent human embryonic stem cells promise to revolutionize the practice of medicine. Specialized cells derived from human embryonic stem cells could be used to treat a wide variety of human diseases and disorders. But the existing human embryonic stem cell lines are only compatible with a sub-set of the human population. This raises the important problem that transplanted cells would be rejected or that treated individuals would need to be immuno-suppressed for the rest of their lives. In an ideal world, human stem cell lines would be developed that were compatible with each individual. Theoretically this could be achieved through the process of nuclear reprogramming in which a nucleus from an individual is reprogrammed in the cytoplasm of an egg. The subsequent cells that develop from the re-programmed nucleus could then be used to create patient-specific human embryonic stem cell lines that would avoid the important problem of rejection. While the process of nuclear reprogramming works in some species, so far in humans it has not.

This meeting addressed some of the critical issues in this field, including the sources of eggs for nuclear reprogramming, the ethical problems associated with egg donation, alternative sources of eggs, improved methods for nuclear reprogramming, problems associated with mixing of mitochondria, alternative methods for creating pluripotent stem cells and problems with stem cells that can occur through improper methods of culture of the embryo or the resultant stem cell lines. Ultimately, development of methods for successful nuclear reprogramming in humans could revolutionize methods for practicing medicine as well as improving our understanding of the maintenance of the differentiated state.

Video Available

Session I: Where are we now?

Susan V. Bryant, University of California, Irvine
Opening Remarks

 Cultural and religious differences in attitudes towards therapeutic cloning and egg donation
Anne Drapkin Lyerly, M.D., Duke University School of Medicine

 Cross-cultural considerations of cloning using human eggs
Alison Murdoch, Newcastle Fertility Centre at LIFE

 Learning from the Korean experience
Mildred Cho, Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics

 Lessons from Dolly
Ian Wilmut, University of Edinburgh

Session II: Applications of Therapeutic Cloning

 Improvement of the efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer
Teruhiko Wakayama, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology

 Deciphering disease progression using nuclear transfer and stem cells
Kevin Eggan, Harvard University

Histocompatible embryonic stem cells
George Daley, Children's Hospital Boston

 Different nuclei-different expression
Mahendra Rao, Invitrogen Corp

Keynote Lecture:
 Fundamentals of cloning
John Gurdon, University of Cambridge

Session III: De-differentiation and Differentiation

 Spindle-associated proteins
Gerald P. Schatten, University of Pittsburg

 Induction of pluripotency by defined factors
Kiichiro Tomoda, The Gladstone Institute, University of California, San Francisco

 Reprogramming somatic stem cells into pluripotent stem cells
Kathrin Plath, University of California, Los Angeles

 Germ cells from stem cells
Renee Reijo Pera, Stanford University

Session IV: Challenges and Solutions

 Culture and genetic modification of germline stem (GS) cells
Takashi Shinohara, University of Kyoto

Mitochondrial DNA variation in stem cell biology and disease
Douglas Wallace, University of California, Irvine

 Imprinting in stem cells
Roger Pedersen, University of Cambridge

Peter Donovan, University of California, Irvine
Closing Remarks



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