Norwegian version of this page

Nobel event at UiO: A new era of medicine with stem cells

Shinya Yamanaka, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, will visit Oslo on September 6. He will give a lecture about a new era of medicine with induced pluripotent stem cells – iPS cells – and participate in a panel discussion about the ethical aspects of stem cell therapy. The events are open to all.

Illustration of Shinya Yamanaka by Andy Potts.

Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Illustration with courtesy of Andy Potts.

Shinya Yamanaka from Japan received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012. He shared the prize with Sir John B. Gurdon from Great Britain.

Their work demonstrated that mature, specialised cells, such as skin cells, could be reprogrammed to become immature cells – so called stem cells – which in turn can grow into different types of cells within the body. Their findings have revolutionised the view of the development of cells and organisms.

Mature cells can be reprogrammed and develop into any cell type

In 2006 Yamanaka was the first to demonstrate that mature cells could be reprogrammed directly to so called induced pluripotent stem cells – iPS cells or iPSCs – that is cells that are able to develop into all different kinds of cells. This was a great breakthrough because previous to this, the source of pluripotent stem cells were mainly embryos, and the use of embryonic stem cells is ethically challenging.

High expectations about the medical potential

Pluripotent stem cells have been expected to be the basis of new treatments for a whole range of diseases and injuries such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, heart attack, stroke, blindness and type 1 diabetes. These stem cells can also be used to understand the mechanisms of diseases and for testing new drugs.

iPSCs may be resourceful for preemptive therapies that protect against the onset of the disease or to establish personalised medicine.

From Yamanaka’s abstract for the upcoming lecture in Oslo

Lecture and panel discussion open to all

In Oslo Shinya Yamanaka will give a lecture about a new era of medicine with iPS cells. After the lecture, he will attend a panel discussion about the ethical aspects of stem cell therapy. The lecture and the panel discussion are open to all, but you have to register.

Yamanaka will also lead a roundtable discussion and have lunch with invited students from the University of Oslo. His visit ends with a tour at the Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital where he also will participate in a Q&A session with researchers and students within the field.

By Norunn K. Torheim
Published June 22, 2017 11:11 AM - Last modified Sep. 18, 2017 1:04 PM