A breakthrough in the field of regenerative medicine, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can propagate indefinitely and represent a single source of cells to replace others lost to damage or disease. iPSC technology can facilitate patient-specific, customized medicine, reduce the cost of clinical trials, and prescreen for patient-specific efficacy.

In 2013, the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) opened its doors, establishing formal partnerships with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an NIH body. CReM provided funding for an iPSC lung and sickle cell repository which has since been expanded to a biobank, housing 2500 reprogrammable blood samples from Framingham Heart Study participants. We are rapidly adding lines from patients with a wide variety of diseases. CReM’s partnership with the Framingham Heart Study provides a unique resource and experience for training stem cell biologists. CReM now houses the new TL1 training program on regenerative medicine targeted at pre- and post-doctoral trainees.

The Framingham Heart Study is the longest running, most important, and effective multi-generational epidemiological cohort study to date and its participants have been densely phenotyped across numerous body systems. Over the coming years, CTSI will develop the standard operating protocols and complete extensive iPS cellular characterizations, providing the CTSA network with a large number of iPSCs from diseased and disease-free patients and creating a network of iPSC and differentiated target cells. Gene editing technologies are also available to any CTSA collaborator.

In addition, CTSI will offer online educational modules for CTSA collaborators to familiarize non-stem cell investigators with iPSC technology and educate clinical investigators as to how iPSCs can be incorporated into ongoing human subject research. For those interested in understanding the reprogramming methods used to derive the iPS cells available through this repository, an instructional video is available here.

Those interested in requesting vials of iPS cells for their research can do so through our iPSC Core webpage here.