Ireland’s leading expert in stem cell science, Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway, has sent congratulations to the Nobel Prize winners Professor Shinya Yamanaka and Professor John Gurdon. The two pioneers of stem cell research will share the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, it was announced today.
“The discoveries made by these two scientists, although many years apart, both changed the way we think about cells and how they regulate their behaviour,” said Professor Barry. The discovery of methods in cell reprogramming, in particular, has had a huge impact. It has given us extraordinary new insight into what stem cells are and how they work. It has also given us powerful new tools to study human development and what causes certain diseases. We at REMEDI send our heartfelt congratulations to Drs. Gurdon and Yamanaka. The award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to them is richly deserved.”
Professor Frank Barry is Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and also Scientific Director of the University’s Regenerative Medicine Institute.
His particular research interest is in the therapeutic application of adult stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow. For 10 years he has directed a series of research programmes focusing on the isolation and characterization of adult stem cells, and on the development of methods for their delivery in a variety of clinical indications. This has included cardiovascular and arthritic diseases.
He has also developed approaches for the use of MSCs for the delivery of specific therapeutic genes, for example in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition he has an interest in proteomics and mass spectrometry for the identification of surface molecules on cells.
Some of his more recent work is focussed on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), along with NUI Galway’s Professor Sanbing Shen.