Joint Research Chair

Immunology and Regenerative Medicine

Development of intracellular metabolic regulation techniques for cell quality
  • Development of techniques to improve the survival rate of transplanted iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes
  • Development of novel techniques for the culturing of lymphocytes for cancer immunotherapy
  • Development of techniques to repair genetically mutated dopamine-producing cells with impaired stress response

Development of immunological suppression and quality control methods of cells for transplantation in regenerative medicine and cell therapy

1) Research objectives

The development of iPSC-derived cells has greatly advanced regenerative medicine for many reasons, including reducing the risk of immune rejection and acting as a new source for the transplanted product. Clinical applications of iPSC-derived cells in regenerative medicine and cell therapy are currently underway. However, the retention rates of iPSC-derived transplanted cells, their long-term survival and potential to become cancerous requires more study. We aim to understand these mechanisms by investigating the occurrence of localized chronic inflammation and tissue damage resulting from post-transplantation immune responses at the transplantation site. At the same time, we also aim to develop new technologies that will help enhance the quality of cells to be used for regenerative cell therapy by understanding the regulation of intracellular metabolism in iPSC-derived cells. In addition, we are developing techniques that improve the quality and applicability of cell types for cell therapy. Some of our targets are activated lymphocytes that can be used in cancer immunotherapy and the restoration of dopamine production in cells carrying the causative genes for Parkinson’s disease.

2)Specific details and methods

  • Identification of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that are triggered by immune responses caused by cellular stress in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPS-CM). This work involves the identification and quantification of DAMPs using methods such as quantitative PCR and ELISA
  • Immunology and histology study of the low survival rate of iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte sheet
  • The screening of metabolic regulators for the improvement of in vitro culture condition of activated lymphocytes for cancer immunotherapy
  • Evaluation of the quality of dopamine-producing cells by their intracellular metabolism, cellular activity and viability

3)Target outcomes

  • Development of methods to improve the survival rate of transplanted cells by the identification of DAMPs and the study of immune responses associated with transplantation
  • Development of culture methods to improve the functional capacity of activated lymphocytes
  • Development of drugs that can help maintain the tolerance of stress in dopamine cells