Dr Kodama

With the advances in medical technology, it has become an era where even an irreversible organ failure could be rescued and rehabilitated by transplantation. However, there are some problems in transplantation medicine such as serious donor shortage, so establishment of substitute medical treatments that can solve those problems are in urgent need.

In recent years, regenerative medicine has been attracting attention, but its development was only made possible by cooperation, involvement, and integration of many specialized clinical medicine and research, serving as a cross-medicine. Regenerative medicine is one of the medical field that have made drastic progress over short span of time, including the development of innovative technologies such as an induction of iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells and cloning of animals. Nevertheless, even though the progress involves a lot of clinical fields, the reality is that a variety of ethical issues are being questioned.

Majority of regenerative medicine in clinical practice have been provided as cell therapy. Furthermore, a law concerning its practice has been passed and enforced since November 24, 2014 and further applications will strictly follow its criteria.

Current research themes of the department are in progress toward clinical application, which can be done by collaboration and cooperation with various clinical departments in the university. Among them, a program to start the clinical trials of regeneration of pancreatic islet is based on my findings, which was published in Science magazine when I used to work at Harvard Medical School as a faculty. We want as much basic research that began from such exploratory research to proceed to clinical trials, which I think will truly sprout basic research to clinical departments as translational research.

When I was a medical student, “regenerative medicine” did not exist as a word or a department. While small in number, we have research and clinical staffs, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians from variety of fields to gather and organize as a team, to research and prepare for clinical trials. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us or stop by at our department.

(Written by S. Kodama)