The derivation of pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells from human blastocysts in 1998 marked a turning point in biomedical science by offering the opportunity to derive potentially limitless numbers of somatic cell types to replace diseased or worn out tissues. Such an approach has far-reaching implications for the treatment of conditions as diverse as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, myocardial infarction and macular degeneration. Nevertheless, the promise of regenerative medicine may only be realised by addressing the immunological barriers that will provoke rejection of the transplanted tissues. My laboratory is, therefore, working at the interface between stem cell biology and immunology in order to apply the principles of transplantation tolerance within this newly-emerging field.
- Characterisation of dendritic cell subsets differentiated from mouse ES cells
- Derivation of dendritic cells from human ES cells under culture conditions free from animal products
- Modulation of dendritic cell immunogenicity through treatment with pharmacological agents
- Induction of immunological tolerance to tissues derived from ES cells
- Harnessing acquired immune privilege for the purpose of regenerative medicine