In our first part of the interview with Dr David Hallett, Executive Vice President at Evotec, we discussed the uniqueness of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS Cells), novel developments occurring in iPS Cell research, and the challenges researchers face.
Let us have a short recap of what we have learned so far: iPS Cells were first discovered by Shinya Yamanaka and his colleagues in 2006. The researchers introduced specific transcription factors into mature adult cells, converting them back into a pluripotent state, and resulting in their ability to differentiate into any type of cell found in the human body.
Apart from this unique characteristic of being pluripotent, iPS Cells can also be maintained in culture and multiplied in a very short period of time. A further benefit is the fact that the reprogramming step can be executed using easily accessible tissues such as skin and blood cells, so there is no need for invasive procedures.
We also learnt that there are two primary applications for iPS Cells.