Hideki TANIGUCHI, M. D., Ph. D.
With its goal of exploiting the self-renewal potential of living cells, the emerging field of regenerative medicine stands poised to play an essential role in providing innovations toward the treatment of many human disorders. Although remarkable advances in this field have been achieved, to date these have been limited to certain tissues, such as vessels or bone/cartilage. The regeneration of solid organs, i.e. liver or pancreas, remains as a wide-open research frontier. Using a combination of flow-cytometry and fluorescence-labeled monoclonal antibodies, we have established a novel and utile methodology for the isolation of individual cells, which has opened up one avenue to this frontier of science. This approach ultimately allowed us to identify and characterize stem cells in such organs. We now seek to achieve a better understanding of the underlying stem cell biology and the development of basic technologies that will enable us to realize the promise of regenerative medicine for patients suffering from health conditions involving these organs.