Stem Cells "Born" at the Technion Get New Life

In a victory for stem cell researchers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has re-approved for federally funded research four stem cell lines that originated from cells "born" at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The April 27th approval of the H7, H9, H13 and H14 stem cell lines -- all of which were derived in collaboration with Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Faculty of Medicine and Rambam Health Care Campus -- means the potentially life-saving research conducted with them can continue.

One of the lines, known as WiCell Research Institute’s “H9,” has become a superstar among stem cells since its origins at the Technion during the 1990s.  Often called the “gold standard” because of its stability and longstanding use, H9 accounts for more than 40% of the orders through the National Stem Cell Bank and has been cited in more than 550 scientific papers studying possible cures for diseases.

Technion Professor Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor
Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor

“Many researchers have invested years studying these specific cell lines, so without this approval, millions of dollars of time consuming research could have been set back for years, or even ended” said Eric Forsberg, executive director of WiCell, the non-profit group that ran the National Stem Cell Bank until February.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university.  Home to the country's winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine.  The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.


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