At the Gates Center, our pursuits of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine share the same origin: people. They are products of the human body and are developed by human minds. They’re also part of our natural biology, harnessing the innate power of our own cells and bodies to combat disease, accelerate healing, and improve lives.
What we do here is human. It's nature. It's life.
OUR RESEARCH FOCUS AREAS
The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine focuses on four areas of stem cell research:
STEM CELL BIOLOGY
In Stem Cell Biology, Gates Center members study the mechanisms that direct stem cells to generate tissues, such as bone, cartilage, muscle and skin, or to differentiate into dopamine secreting neurons and mature red blood cells.
STEM CELLS AND CANCER
In Stem Cells and Cancer, Gates Center members study cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are responsible for the maintenance of cancers and for the resistance of cancers to traditional therapies. Our scientists are discovering and testing new drugs that target cancer stem cells.
STEM CELLS AND DISEASE
In Stem Cells and Disease, Gates Center members study genetic defects in stem cells that have been shown to cause both inherited and acquired diseases. In the case of inherited diseases where the genetic cause of the disease is known, our scientists are generating induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells from individual patients. These iPS cells are then genetically corrected and differentiated back into the adult stem cell type that was defective in these patients, in preparation for re-transplantation.
STEM CELLS AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
In Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Gates Center members study the ability to grow and expand stem cells to repair diseased or damaged tissues. Our members are currently working on treatments for patients with Parkinson’s disease, and diseases that affect joints, muscles and skin. Additionally, the ability to expand blood stem cells could provide a universal donor source for transplanting patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Our scientists are the first in the nation to:
- Establish Phase 1 clinical trials that specifically test drugs that target cancer stem cells.
- Differentiate iPS Cells and reprogram them back into skin cells.
- Develop a mouse/human model that creates personalized medicine and shortens the length of time for bench to bedside research.
- Grow potentially unlimited supplies of pathogen free red blood cells and universal bone marrow donor stem cells in a laboratory environment, the implications of which are literally revolutionary for all forms of transplant needs—from simple blood transfusions to bone marrow transplants in both civilian and military arenas.
Progress in Action
Our Research Programs
Stem Cell Biology
WE BRANCH OUT
The Gates Center is multifaceted. We study stem cell biology from every angle so we can create life-changing clinical treatments and build valuable partnership opportunities faster. We trade hierarchy and single-mindedness for cross-project collaboration and a range of promising research areas. This empowers us to embrace variety and utilize ideas from one space to move, grow and inform what we do in others.
A stage 4 cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Tommy Stewart participated in a Gates Center research study that yielded substantial results with significant future promise in the treatment of his thyroid cancer.
Stem Cells & Cancer
WE GET SELECTED
One of the reasons there isn’t a cure for cancer is because the world has been looking in the wrong place: searching outside the body instead of seeking a solution from within. At the Gates Center, we know that cancer stem cells exist and that they don’t respond to external regulation. That’s why we’re improving our aim – using our knowledge to target and eradicate the roots of cancer (cancer stem cells) without destroying normal cells and tissues.
Stem Cells & Disease
WE MAKE IT PERSONAL
Every disease is different, just like every person, so it’s only natural that the cure to a unique condition could lie within our own biology. Our researchers use stem cell technology to develop personalized solutions to highly personal conditions. We’re officially past the point of simply treating disorders. Now we’re finding ways to fix them.
Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
WE AWAKEN WHAT'S WITHIN
Stem cells and regenerative medicine hold invaluable promise for cell, organ and tissue repair and replacement. Our work at the Gates Center looks to these versatile technologies to initiate healing and activate growth factors that awaken existing regenerative cells inside the body – an application with boundless potential in injury recovery.
How It Works: Stem cells can initiate a fast, efficient healing response before long-term issues like scarring have a chance to set in.