New research centre to drive future stem cell-derived medicines 

A major international research centre focused on stem cell medicine will be built by the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (Australia) and Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), with €300 million a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. 

Context on stem cells 

Stem cell medicine is enabling new treatments across many currently untreatable diseases. Stem cells are found throughout the human body and are critical for a healthy life. Recent scientific advances now allow us to identify, isolate and engineer stem cells to create human tissue models, repair injured tissues and in the future grow new organs. A deep understanding of stem cell biology in organ development, tissue repair and disease mechanisms is essential to harness the therapeutic potential in stem cell medicine. This is what the new international stem cell research center aims to achieve.  

Official comments 

Professor Melissa Little from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia, has been appointed the CEO of the reNEW partnership and will take up the position as Executive Director and Professor of the centre with the governing hub based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. She said: “I am very excited about the amazing opportunity that reNEW represents. Building on the stem cell research excellence that exists within all partner institutions, the Center will reach a critical mass that is required for translating fundamental discoveries into stem cell medicine. The international collaboration that forms the basis for the new Center will provide access to extensive technical and clinical translation expertise across all sites. Across the breadth of stem cell medicine this will lead to new drugs based on human stem cell models, cell and tissue therapies and novel cell and gene therapies.” 

“Stem cell medicine truly promises to be a game changer when it comes to addressing some of the major health challenges facing the world today,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. “With the establishment of this new centre, the aim is not just to further stem cell-based research through international collaborations, but also to strengthen the pathway from scientific discovery to targeted outcome, whether in the form of new medical technology or new forms of treatment for the benefit of patients.” 

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