|Jill Helms, Stanford photo|
|Zhenyu Tang (at microscope) examines vascular stem |
cells in culture along with Aijun Wang (left) and Song Li.
UC Berkeley/Zoey Huang photo
"Even though he works just across the (San Francisco) Bay from me - I met him at a meeting in Japan that was sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, and they fund a lot of stem cell research in California."
"I will tell you that cancer is certainly a disease that looks very much like a stem cell gone out of control. And so if we understand what normally regulates a stem cell's behavior, then we gain some crucial insights into what regulates maybe a cancer cell's behavior. It's that kind of approach that I think that CIRM is largely funding initiatives to try to target human diseases, the big ones, and the ones that make us all sort of quake in our shoes, and attempt to come up with new therapies."
"Most basic scientists that work in stem cells and in the area of stem cell are trying as hard as possible to move this into translational therapies, things that can be used in humans. And, of course, CIRM, our funding institution, is very adamant about this being the trajectory. So, you know, I'll be taking a stab at it about five to seven years. I think that the ability to rapidly screen existing drugs for their ability to target this cell population is why we think that it might have a shorter course to getting into humans."