UW scientists successful experiment is huge step toward using stem cells to treat diseases

CREATED Mar 14, 2013

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  • A dopamine neuron produced from monkey iPS cells. Image by Courtesy of the laboratory of Su-Chun Zhang

MADISON - Scientists at University of Wisconsin-Madison have successfully turned a monkey's skin cells to brain cells and implanted them into the monkey's brain, an important step to treating disease with stem cells in humans.

According to Mark Johnson with the Journal Sentinel, the monkeys had been engineered to display the effects of Parkinson's Disease.

Although the experiment was carried out on monkeys, scientists are confident this could also be done on humans.

"I think this is the first proof-of-principle demonstration that this personalized cell therapy may work," said UW neuroscientist and stem cell researcher Su-Chun Zhang, who led the study. "We designed this experiment specifically for mimicking future therapies in patients. That's why we used monkeys."

The successful experiment could lead to significant hope for patients of many diseases.

Read the full story here.