Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine: Shared Research Laboratory and Course in Current Protocols in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine: Shared Research Laboratory and Course in Current Protocols in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Funding Type: 
Shared Labs
Grant Number: 
CL1-00524-1.2
Award Value: 
$3,513,204
Stem Cell Use: 
Embryonic Stem Cell
iPS Cell
Cell Line Generation: 
iPS Cell
Status: 
Active
Public Abstract: 
To realize the potential of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in research and medicine, it is essential to disseminate state of the art technology in this field to the scientific community at large. The Shared Research Laboratory (SRL) of the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM) at the University of Southern California will aim to provide a comprehensive support service for hESC researchers at our University and at neighboring institutions. The mission of the SRL will include the following goals: 1) to supply scientists with quality controlled stem cell lines for use in their research, including cell lines that are not eligible for use in NIH-funded projects; 2) to provide space and equipment for scientists new to the field to carry out pilot projects, in order to help them to integrate the hESC platform technology into their own research programs; 3) to develop and validate new and improved methods for growing hESC in the laboratory; 4) to operate a formal practical course in hESC laboratory techniques to scientists from throughout the region. The facility will be situated in the new Harlyne Norris Cancer Center tower on the USC medical school campus. The laboratory will have sufficient work stations to support training, collaborative projects, and research and development programs for evaluation of new stem cell culture techniques, and it will be equipped with specialized instruments required to monitor stem cells. The operation of the facility will be overseen by the Program Director and the Manager of the CSCRM Core Facility. Advice on access and management will be provided by a subgroup of the CSCRM Stem Cell Advisory Group comprising stem cell researchers from USC, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and California Institute of Technology. The SRL will support the work of CSCRM scientists and their colleagues at neighboring institutions involved in basic research on hESC, including international collaborations on standards for this research. The facility will also enable many groups involved in translational work at the USC medical school to gain experience and training in the use of hESC in their work in areas such as neurology, liver disease, cardiology, and ophthalmology. These scientists will be able to conduct preliminary studies in the facility under the guidance of experienced staff. The SRL will offer a 5-day course on Current Protocols in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, to provide a comprehensive practical training for investigators wishing to use hESC lines in their research programs. Laboratory instruction will include demonstration of the most commonly used methods for cultivating hESC, methodology for assessing the purity and quality of hESC cultures, and methods for converting hESC into specific cell types such as nerve or blood cells. The training course will be available to scientists from institutions throughout the Los Angeles area and will be held 3-4 times per year.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine has as its goal the development of stem cell and related research for the treatment of disease. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) could provide an indefinitely renewable source of any type of healthy human cell for use in research and therapy, and are therefore the focus of widespread scientific excitement. However, because the development of hESC technology is still at an early phase, significant technical barriers exist for new workers entering the field. The proposed Shared Research Laboratory (SRL) in the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSRCM) at the University of Southern California will act as a hub for dissemination of state-of-the-art technology in hESC research throughout the region. By training students and established investigators in the practical skills required for hESC use, and by providing shared space for pilot and collaborative projects, the SRL will vastly accelerate stem cell research in Southern California. The SRL will also carry out research and development aimed at evaluating new technologies for hESC research, and will incorporate new discoveries by participanting scientists into validated protocols for maintenance and differentiation of hESC. This role, which will include participation in international collaborative efforts for assessment of hESC methodology, will ensure that the SRL scientists benefit from the most recent advances in hESC research, and that their own discoveries are integrated into best practice for hESC research globally. California, and the greater Los Angeles area, will thus become an international focal point for hESC research. As workers involved in translational and clinical research learn to apply hESC in their studies, basic discoveries in stem cell biology by SRL trained researchers will move towards clinical application. The availability of the SRL will also provide a needed boost to the development of biotechnology in the Los Angeles area.
Progress Report: 

Year 1

The Shared Research Laboratory at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC has provided support and training for stem cell researchers at USC and neighboring institutions. We have supplied training and expertise for a diverse range of research projects on human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, including one project that evolved into a successful CIRM Disease Team application in the field of macular degeneration. The services supplied by our facility include quality controlled cell lines and reagents, biobanking, and access to communal research space and specialized equipment. The SRL also collaborates with scientists in several research projects. We worked with Dr. Pin Wang to develop new methods for genetic manipulation of human embryonic stem cells. We collaborated with Dr. Gregor Adams in developing techniques for hematopoietic differentiation of human ES cells. Finally the SRL participated in the International Stem Cell Initiative studies of media for propagation of human ES cells and human pluripotent stem cell genetic and epigenetic stability. The SRL is managed by Dr. Victoria Fox with the assistance of four scientific staff. We operate two formal training courses, one on Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Culture, and the second on RNAi Mediated Gene Knockdown in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. We have had extensive participation in these courses from USC students and staff and from our partners in the CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program. The SRL has also served as a training facility for interns in the CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program.

Year 2

The USC Stem Cell Core Shared Research Laboratory (SRL), located at the Eli Edythe Broad CIRM center, is a comprehensive support center and central hub for researchers working with stem cells. This laboratory functions to accelerate research involving pluripotent stem cells through the provision of cells, reagents, equipment, technical assistance, training and shared laboratory space. The SRL has provided a variety of services to over 30 laboratories undertaking a diverse range of projects in the fields of stem cell and developmental biology, regenerative and translational medicine, epigenetics, reprograming, cancer biology, biochemistry and bioengineering. We offer a comprehensive hPSC techniques course and customized ‘modular’ training program to researchers and CIRM bridges students throughout the LA area. Our formal biobanking services enable researchers to bank and preserve hPSC lines without the normal worries associated with cryopreserving these cells. The SRL also operates a research and development program which validates new technologies for maintaining and manipulating human pluripotent stem cells. We are currently centralizing methods for generating human iPSC’s and continue to work on the establishment of improved techniques for genetically modifying hPSC’s. In collaboration with other USC researchers the SRL is working to make transgenic hPSC lines carrying neural reporter genes available to the research community. We are also addressing key issues regarding the in vitro requirements for hPSC during single cell plating.

Year 3

The USC Stem Cell Core Facility is a comprehensive support center for stem cell and biomedical researchers located at The University of Southern California and other neighboring institutions in Los Angeles. It provides research support and training to over 200 individuals ranging from high school students to tenured professors. The users of the facility participate in a wide diversity of basic and translational research involving embryonic and adult stem cells. Some of the services offered by this facility include quality controlled cells and bioreagents, shared equipment and laboratory space, biobanking, a cell repository, histology, karyotyping, technical assistance and consultation. The USC Stem Cell Core staff also participate in research and development aimed to establishing, validating and centralizing new technologies which fuel the production of new services and lower the barriers to stem cell research. The main goal of this facility is to provide support which enables all life science researchers regardless of their expertise to harness the amazing potential of stem cells for studying and treating human diseases.

Year 4

The USC Stem Cell Core Shared Research Laboratory (SRL), located at the Eli Edythe Broad CIRM center, is a comprehensive support center and central hub for researchers working with stem cells. This laboratory functions to accelerate research involving pluripotent stem cells through the provision of cells, reagents, equipment, technical assistance, training and shared laboratory space. This year we added a new iPSC derivation service to our repertoire of research support services. The SRL has provided support to over 30 laboratories undertaking a diverse range of projects in the fields of stem cell and developmental biology, regenerative and translational medicine, epigenetics, reprograming, cancer biology, biochemistry and bioengineering. We offer a comprehensive hPSC techniques course and customized ‘modular’ training program to researchers and CIRM bridges students throughout the LA area. We also run a high school science education and outreach program called the EiHS Summer program in stem cell research, in collaboration with a CIRM funded creativity award. Together these programs enable over 20 students to participate in laboratory research and classroom based forums focusing on stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The SRL also operates a research and development program which validates new technologies for maintaining and manipulating human pluripotent stem cells. We are currently working to centralize methods for genetically modifying hPSC’s. In collaboration with other USC researchers the SRL is working to make transgenic hPSC lines carrying neural reporter genes available to the research community. We are also addressing key issues regarding the in vitro requirements for hPSC during single cell plating.

Year 5

The USC Stem Cell Core Shared Research Laboratory (SRL), located at the Eli Edythe Broad CIRM center at the University of Southern California acts as a hub for dissemination of state-of-the-art technology in hESC research throughout the region. This laboratory functions to accelerate research involving pluripotent stem cells through the provision of quality controlled cells, bioreagents, shared equipment and laboratory space, biobanking, a cell repository, histology, karyotyping, technical assistance and consultation. The facility also provides stem cell culture training for researchers ranging from high school students to tenured professors. This year we expanded our iPSC derivation services and have started collaborating with PI’s to derive iPSC from fibroblasts, utilizing a non-integrating plasmid based technology. The SRL continued to see an increase in the total number of users for equipment usage and stem cell training courses. We participated in collaborative research which has resulted in a publication in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. We are continuously aiming to recruit more students for our hPSC techniques courses and host plan to host a techniques course for International researchers in the next reporting period. We further expanded our high school science education and outreach program called the EiHS Summer program in stem cell research, which is run in collaboration with a CIRM funded creativity award program. Together these programs have enabled over 20 high school students to participate in laboratory research and classroom based forums focusing on stem cell research and regenerative medicine last year. In addition to this we continue to work on the establishment of improved techniques for genetically modifying hPSC’s and validation of improved media for maintaining hPSC, particularly following single cell dissociation.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine