Finding Genius Podcast
Recipe for Blood: Researcher Rio Sugimura Describes his Research in Developing Blood Stem Cells
Apr 8, 2020 · 31 min
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This podcast explores how researchers are working on generating blood from a patient's skin cells for optimal stem cells therapy.  When you listen, you'll learn

  • How blood stem cells are produced in our own body and reside in bone marrow before responding to signals to form progenitor cells that will differentiate,
  • What steps Dr. Sugimura is taking to create Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS), and
  • What ingredients are still missing from these IPS cells and how Dr. Sugimura thinks they will be able to solve these issues.

Rio Sugimura is a Research Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital with the Daley Lab working on producing lab-grown blood. First he explains our body's process for making blood, detailing the importance of bone marrow as the home for blood stem cells that generate all types of blood cells in our body. Along the way, he explains the benefits of gene editing and different means of stem cells therapy. 

Specifically, he is using skin cells instead of bone marrow to generate blood stem cells. He explains the challenges this process presents compared to our natural system and provides two essential categories in which the IPS cells lack the same efficacy. Specifically, these lab-generated IPS cells lack components of genetic regulators that tell the cells how to behave and also lack the environmental benefit a home of bone marrow provides. However, he is working on solutions for these issues, including efforts toward manufacturing bone marrow organoids. He finishes by explaining the next steps in developing and testing how these cells will work in bodies and how this exploration works in tandem with benefits of gene editing.

For more, Google his name for papers, see the Daley Lab website, and find him on Twitter as @RioSugimura.

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