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Study shows promising avenue to help regenerate human muscle

August 27, 2014

Dr. Bill Stanford has published a study in Stem Cell Reports that outlines how his lab grew skeletal muscle stem cells in vitro using new human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in collaboration with Ilona Skerjanc’s lab from the University of Ottawa. The team used drugs/chemicals to convert 91% of human ESCs into skeletal muscle cells, including a population of muscle stem cells. This finding has potential applications for treating people who suffer from Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and other illnesses that cause muscles to atrophy and stop working properly. Embryonic stem cells are important cell sources in the development of regenerative medicine treatments. Yet, until now, efforts to convert ESCs to skeletal muscle stem cells have been unsuccessful. Now heading into drug screening with this research, Dr. Stanford and the team hope to move into clinical trials with human patients in the future. Read the study.

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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