The discovery of so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, i.e. embryonic-like cells created from ordinary body cells) by Prof. S. Yamanaka at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, has ignited a new era of cell-based therapy initiatives and rewarded Yamanaka and his coworkers with the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2012. iPSC-technology has experienced tremendous progress in the field of disease modelling, early drug discovery and regenerative medicine.
Zurich as a hub for life sciences has increasingly adopted this research field and initiated powerful application of these technologies, such as the combination of iPSC and genome editing or three-dimensional organoids. Also, the IREM has investigated in the field of iPSC in order to move this technology closer to clinics. Therefore, a kick-off meeting in 2017 with CiRA was the starting point of a seminal collaboration. Several active scientific exchanges of visiting scientists from both institutions have fostered these close bonds.
The mission of iPSCore is to support basic and translational research by facilitating all aspects of iPSC technology including the derivation, differentiation and distribution of human iPSC lines.