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Professor Hwang’s Team Extracts Stem Cells from Patients with Incurable Diseases

Professor Hwang’s Team Extracts Stem Cells from Patients with Incurable Diseases

Posted May. 21, 2005 19:06,   


Hwang Woo-suk (52), a chair professor of Seoul National University, has announced yet another research achievement that will surprise the world this year.

On May 19, the research team led by professor Hwang announced that by cloning the human embryo, they have succeeded in obtaining 11 kinds of stem cells that could grow into all kinds of organ cells in a human body from 11 people with incurable diseases, such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes in children, and Hyper Igm Syndrome, regardless of gender and age.

If transplanted into the affected part of a patient, it’s expected that the stem cells could treat incurable diseases with healthy cell growth.

In particular, unlike last year, the research is a remarkable achievement that is viewed to have little immunity rejection as it directly gathered stem cells from a patient.

In addition to Hwang, 24 Korean scientists from the college of veterinary medicine, medicine, and agriculture and life sciences of Seoul National University, the Hanyang University College of Medicine, Miz Medi Hospital, and Hana Women’s Specialty Professional Hospital, and Professor Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh participated in the research, and they were introduced in the May 20 edition of the U.S. science magazine, “Science.” The process of cloning the human embryo is designed to extract therapeutic stem cells from an embryo, which is achieved after fusing (cloning) a human somatic cell into an egg cell without a nucleus.

Professor Hwang’s research team surprised the world with its first-ever success in extracting one kind of stem cell from a healthy woman using the above mentioned method in February of last year.

Professor Hwang had a presentation on his team’s research results with press agencies worldwide at the Science and Media Center in London, Britain at 11:00 a.m. (local time) on May 19.

Professor Hwang said in a telephone interview with Dong-a Ilbo, “With this achievement, our team has passed the hardest stage of research,” and added that a stage still remains in which the team will check whether or not cancer occurs in animal experimentation and closely examine a stem cell’s mechanism of differentiating into a certain cell.