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Mount Sinai Hospital researcher develops Canada’s first embryonic stem cell lines


A senior scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital has developed Canada’s first two human embryonic stem cell lines, giving researchers across the country new potential and hope for eventually discovering treatments and cures for many chronic and fatal diseases.

"My hope – and the hope of my world-class laboratory team – is that our step of developing the first Canadian embryonic stem cell lines will ultimately bring Canada and the world closer to treating or curing diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes and spinal cord injuries," said Dr. Andras Nagy, a researcher at Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.

"Our research remains in an early phase but the ability of these cells to develop into any kind of function cells in adult bodies holds enormous promise for these cells to regenerate damaged tissues that cause incurable diseases."

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) determined that Dr. Nagy derived these new stem cells lines in a manner consistent with the Stem Cell Guidelines.

The two cell lines have since been submitted to, and approved by, the International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI). The use of the two new lines in Canada will be directed by the Stem Cell Network. The McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine at the University of Toronto contributes to the support of a human embryonic stem cell core facility.

The stem cell lines will be freely available to the Canadian scientific community and will enable Canadian scientists to research potential treatments for a variety of diseases.

"Having our own cell lines gives Canadian researchers access to a valuable research tool. These two lines will be shared with scientists all over Canada and with the scientific community at large. They are a valuable contribution to stem cell research on a global scale," said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director of the Stem Cell Network.

Dr. Nagy is a senior scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He is also a professor in the department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto. In 1974 Dr. Nagy completed his B.A. (M.A.) in Mathematics and in 1979 completed his Ph.D. in Genetics both at Lorand Eötvös University Budapest. Dr. Nagy currently holds the Canadian Institute of Health Records Senior Scientist Award 2002-2007.

Rob McCartney | EurekAlert!
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