Ongoing Projects AniStem

Title: Induced pluripotent stem cell research in rabbit and pig

EU FP7 Marie Curie Actions Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)
Participant's number: 3
Role: Partner
Project number: FP7-PEOPLE-2011- 286264
Project website:

Objective: The AniStem project is aimed at creating a 4-year training and transfer of knowledge program between a Hungarian SME, a Dutch University and a Hungarian University in the field of stem cell research in mammals (rabbit, pig). This will create opportunities for a long term mutually beneficial partnership of veterinary and medical research, and stimulate the development of applications between the industrial and academic participants. The scientific and industrial aim of AniStem is to produce novel comparative information on the generation, maintenance and characteristics of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells in rabbit and pig, and on their differentiation towards the cardiac cell lineages. The physiology of cardiomyocytes produced from rabbit and pig iPS cells will be compared, and their ability to faithfully report drug responses will be investigated. The technical focus will be on generating novel European patents for reprogramming somatic cells to an embryonic state in potential medical model animal species. The AniStem project links intersectorial research activities in SME and Academia in different mammalian and cellular systems. An interdisciplinary approach is required combining methods from cell biology (isolation, maintenance and differentiation of cells) structural cell biology (immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization), developmental biology (differentiation of pluripotent cells), molecular biology (including lentiviral and other transgenic methods, microarray and real time PCR methods), and finally bioinformatics.
Training and transfer of knowledge activities are structured to ensure maximum efficiency in developing and exchanging new standards between industry and academia and to expose the participating researchers to different environments and schools of thoughts. This is expected to be highly beneficial for individual career development because the trainees will develop long term collaborations with their host training institute. The project is aimed to have an impact on the European Health sector. The main impact of the project is expected to be in integrating efforts in stem cell biology, biomedical models and cell therapy between industry and academia for long term collaboration. In addition, directly applicable outcomes of the project are expected from better stem cell differentiation protocols in mammalian species. This will potentially enable validation and development of iPS cells as highly desirable alternatives to live animals for drug testing, disease modelling and research on regenerative medicine, bringing potential medical applications closer to implementation and making them less ethically sensitive, hence more socially acceptable.

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