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Scientific program
Dec 09-11, 2024 Paris, France

International Conference onStem Cells, Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering

Early Bird Registration Date: May 11, 2024
Abstract Submission Opens: Mar 15, 2024

Keynote Forum

David Greene

David Greene

R3 Stem Cell
USA

Title: The Therapeutic Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Diabetic Kidney Disease

Abstract:

Diabetes mellitus (DM) often causes chronic kidney damage despite best medical practices. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) arises from a complex interaction of factors within the kidney and the whole body. Targeting specific disease-causing agents using drugs has not been effective in treating DKD. However, stem cell therapies offer a promising alternative by addressing multiple disease pathways and promoting kidney regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer great promise due to their superior accessibility ratio from adult tissues and remarkable modes of action, such as the production of paracrine anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective substances. This review critically evaluates the development of MSC treatment for DKD as it moves closer to clinical application. Results from animal models suggest that systemic MSC infusion may positively impact DKD progression. However, few registered and completed clinical trials exist, and whether the treatments are effective in humans is still being determined. Significant knowledge gaps and research opportunities exist, including establishing the ideal source, dose, and timing of MSC delivery, better understanding of in vivo mechanisms, and developing quantitative indicators to obtain a more significant therapeutic response. This paper reviews recent literature on using MSCs in preclinical and clinical trials in DKD. Potent biomarkers related to DKD are also highlighted, which may help better understand MSCs’ action in this disease progression.

Biography:

Greene is a residency and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who has shifted completely into business. He started a healthcare internet marketing company, US Lead Network, that helps medical and dental practices acquire patients on the web in a pay-for-performance manner. The company is now using Artificial Intelligence for marketing which is lowering the cost per lead substantially. He has written two books on Healthcare Internet Marketing that are available for purchase on Amazon. He has been featured as a Top 20 Expert Author by Ezines.com, the top article directory site in the world. Out of over 470,000 authors, Greene ranks #15 as an Expert Author and #1 in the Pain Management category. He also started a regenerative medicine company, R3 Stem Cell, that offers marketing, an IRB-approved protocol, and top products for practices nationwide. R3 offers stem cell training courses that are second to none at https://stemcelltrainingcourse.org

Speakers

De la Parra-Solomon

Title: Hydrogel-chitosan and polylactic acid-polycaprolactone bioengineered scaffolds for reconstruction of mandibular defects: a preclinical in vivo study with assessment of translationally relevant aspects

Biography:

De la Parra-Solomon is an entrepreneur focused on Information Technology, Education, and Health. He is creative, results-driven, and has 16+ years of Digital Strategy experience in architecture and implementation. De la Parra-Solomon is the Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of the Quantum Brain Research Institute (www.quantumbrain.institute), a HealthTech initiative established in Tallinn, Estonia focused on Mental Health and Information Technology solutions. He serves as COO and Co-founding Partner at The Solomon Brokerage Firm. He also leads as Vice President of Digital Strategy at Mass Media Division, while being the CEO of De la Parra Mobile Solutions. He is the former Vice President of Strategy and Operations at PetroM Corp and its subdivisions PetroM Logistics and PetroM Pharma, and the former COO & Co-founder at RegenerAge Clinic & RegenerAge Beauty. Mr. De la Parra-Solomon is the former CEO & Founder of Astrum Salud Móvil and its Telemedicine service Astrum Móvil, former Digital Strategy Director & Co-founder at Dr. Jois, BiorganicAging, What Skin Needs/WSN International Pty. Ltd. He also served as a member of the Board of Advisors and is former Chief Marketing Officer at ReAnima Advanced Biosciences and served as Digital Media Director at Bioquark, Inc. He also served as the Latin America Region Manager and Digital Strategy adviser at CardiacSense and is a former CITO & Senior Partner at Cerezo Editores. Within the academic and educational fields, De la Parra-Solomon acted as the Executive Vice President: Executive Chairman of the WAMS Mobile Health Division, WAMS Chief Coordinating Officer, a former member of the WAMS Executive Council (WAMS Executive Board), a former member of the WAMS Education & Training Board (ETB), a former member of the WAMS Editorial Board, an Honorary Member of the Academy Faculty FWAMS, an Honorary Fellow of the Academy & was also a Senior Partner at WAMS, The World Academy of Medical Sciences. He was also an Advisory Board member, functioned as the Chief Operating Officer, and was a Co-founding Partner at The Reprogramming Medicine Association. De la Parra-Solomon is also a member of Singularity University and OpenExo. About the organizations that Mr. De la Parra has collaborated with for social impact and empowerment, he is a member of the Laurentia Project and of Cerebro Mexico, he serves as an Advisory Board member of the Lifeboat Foundation, an Advisory Board member of the Future Worlds Center – Cyprus Neuroscience & Technology Institute (Senior TV Program), while also being a Federated Member of the International Longevity Alliance and a member of the Transhumanist Party. He is a voting citizen and is running for Mayor & future Parliamentary Candidate at Asgardia. He served as the Chief Digital Strategy Officer and is a Member of the Board of Advisors and an Honorary Member at the Transdisciplinary Agora for Future Discussions, a member of the Web Committee at the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation/Lifespan.io, volunteered with the SENS Research Foundation for the OncoSENS Program in Digital Strategy, and acted as Digital Strategy adviser at the Major Mouse Testing Program. He also functioned as the founder and former Board of Directors member of Astrum Fundación and was a Digital Strategy Advisor for POKI Ciudad Orgánica. He is also a part of the General Member Board at the National Autism Association, the National Fibromyalgia Association, the International Literacy Association, and the United Spinal Association. De la Parra-Solomon is also a member of several associations for technology including the World Blockchain Association, the EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum, the Blockchain Industry Group, the Computing Technology Industry Association, the Internet Marketing Association, the Application Developers Alliance, and the Association of Strategic Marketing. For the energy sector, he worked as the Vice President of Strategy & Operations of PetroM Energy and is a member of the National Introducing Brokers Association and a part of the National Biodiesel Board (Alliance Program). De la Parra-Solomon’s activities in arts & culture involve being a member of Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de México, while also being a member of the Executive Board at Sociedad Latinoamericana de Ópera. He also served as a Digital Strategy Advisor at the Xicome Festival. He is a media professional at IMDB, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation and has had activities in the entertainment industry as a music producer, composer & arranger for Televisa with broadcast television, film, radio, and web, receiving international awards with aired content in more than 185 countries.

David Greene

David Greene

R3 Stem Cell
USA

Title: The Therapeutic Potential of Human Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Premature Ovarian Failure

Abstract:

Diabetes mellitus (DM) often causes chronic kidney damage despite best medical practices. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) arises from a complex interaction of factors within the kidney and the whole body. Targeting specific disease-causing agents using drugs has not been effective in treating DKD. However, stem cell therapies offer a promising alternative by addressing multiple disease pathways and promoting kidney regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer great promise due to their superior accessibility ratio from adult tissues and remarkable modes of action, such as the production of paracrine anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective substances. This review critically evaluates the development of MSC treatment for DKD as it moves closer to clinical application. Results from animal models suggest that systemic MSC infusion may positively impact DKD progression. However, few registered and completed clinical trials exist, and whether the treatments are effective in humans is still being determined. Significant knowledge gaps and research opportunities exist, including establishing the ideal source, dose, and timing of MSC delivery, better understanding of in vivo mechanisms, and developing quantitative indicators to obtain a more significant therapeutic response. This paper reviews recent literature on using MSCs in preclinical and clinical trials in DKD. Potent biomarkers related to DKD are also highlighted, which may help better understand MSCs’ action in this disease progression.

Biography:

Greene is a residency and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who has shifted completely into business. He started a healthcare internet marketing company, US Lead Network, that helps medical and dental practices acquire patients on the web in a pay-for-performance manner. The company is now using Artificial Intelligence for marketing which is lowering the cost per lead substantially. He has written two books on Healthcare Internet Marketing that are available for purchase on Amazon. He has been featured as a Top 20 Expert Author by Ezines.com, the top article directory site in the world. Out of over 470,000 authors, Greene ranks #15 as an Expert Author and #1 in the Pain Management category. He also started a regenerative medicine company, R3 Stem Cell, that offers marketing, an IRB-approved protocol, and top products for practices nationwide. R3 offers stem cell training courses that are second to none at https://stemcelltrainingcourse.org

Annunziata Mauro

Annunziata Mauro

University of Teramo
Italy

Title: Insight on AEC and AFMSC mechanisms Preserving male fertility after induced Varicocele in Rat experimental model

Abstract:

Statement: Amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid-derived cells are considered a promising source of stem cells for the development of regenerative medicine techniques (1-4), yet there is no evidence that they may treat male infertility illnesses like varicocele (VAR), one of the main causes of male infertility which accounts for about 40% of primary and 80% of secondary male factor infertility, respectively (5). Despite the encouraging paracrine, anti-inflammatory, and immune regulatory therapeutic role of this stem cell source (1-4,6,7), no evidence on male fertility has been collected to date.
Aim: The current study aimed to examine the effects of two distinct cell sources, human Amniotic Fluid Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (hAFMSCs) and amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs), on male fertility outcomes in a validated rat-induced VAR model (5) selected for its high translational value due to its capability of replicating several aspects of the human pathology, including alterations in testicular blood flow, spermatogenesis, and immune response.
Methodology & Experimental plan: hAECs and hAFMSCs were marked with PKH26 vital cell membrane dye for in vivo cell tracking and then transplanted (0.5x106 in 50 ul of vehicle/each type of cells) in left testis with intratesticular injection in VAR rats groups: +hAEC (n=10) and +hAFMSC (n=10) respectively. Healthy (CTR, n=10) and VAR rats (+vehicle alone) groups were considered. The influence of cell transplantation was first assessed considering the long-term impact on rat fertility by recording the newborn number after two sequential matings carried out 120 days after surgical procedures. Then, the mechanisms related to fertility outcomes were in-depth analyzed by focusing the attention on testicular morphology, endocannabinoid system (ECS) expression profile, and inflammatory response, in parallel, with the evaluation of homing of hAFMSCs and hAECs and testis recovery upon their transplantation.
Results: hAECs and hAFMSC, were able to recover fertility in a VAR experimental rat model, even if depending on the type of stem cell used. Both cell types survived 120 days post-transplantation by modulating the ECS main components, (NAPE-PLD, DAGL , and MAGL; p< 0.01 vs. both CTR and +vehicle) as well as the intracellular TRPV1 receptor (+hAECs, p < 0.001 vs. +vehicle), promoting pro-regenerative CD206 positive M2 macrophages (Mφ) recruitment and a favorable anti-inflammatory IL10 expression pattern (p< 0.001 hAECs and hAFMSCs vs. +vehicle). Of note, hAECs resulted in being more effective in restoring rat fertility rate by enhancing both structural and immune response mechanisms. Moreover, immunofluorescence analysis revealed that hAECs contributed to CYP11A1 expression after transplantation, whereas hAFMSCs moved towards the expression of Sertoli cell marker, SOX9, confirming a different contribution into the mechanisms leading to testis homeostasis (8).
Conclusion & Significance: These findings highlight, for the first time, a distinct role of amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid-derived cells in male reproduction, thus proposing innovative targeted stem-based regenerative medicine protocols for remedying high-prevalence male infertility conditions such as VAR.

Biography:

Annunziata Mauro is an Associate Professor at the University of Teramo. She is the coordinator of the Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology. Her research interests mainly focus on studying stem cells of amniotic origin and their application in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering in species of veterinary interest with translational potential in humans. She translates her intellectual and technical knowledge developed in the fields of Cell Biology and Reproductive Biology into the study of amniotic stem cells and their therapeutic potential role, applying the latest and most innovative research techniques and operating within national and international research networks. She participates at National (PRIN, FFABR, PNRR) and European (H2020-EU.1.3.1.-MSCA-ITN 2015-EJD: REP-BIOTECH; H2020-EU.1.3.4.- MSCA-COFUND-2015-DP: REP-EAT; H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020-MSCA-ITN EJD: P4FIT) research projects. She has built her university commitment after years of experience in research, evaluation, teaching, and administration in academic institutions. 

Barbara Barboni

Barbara Barboni

University of Teramo
Italy

Title: Insights on Amniotic-derived stem cell phenotype role in promoting early Tendon Regeneration

Abstract:

Statement: Tendon and ligament injuries comprise almost 50% of sports and physical activity-related defects, causing millions of new diseases annually worldwide. Acute tendon injuries determined from trauma or physical strain constitute a major clinical challenge because of the absence of therapies able to overcome the poor intrinsic healing capacity of tendons. The incomplete recovery of tissue homeostasis is responsible for the clinical scenario of chronicity impairing patient prognosis. Recent advances indicate that the grafting of exogenous or endogenous stem cell populations exerts substantial regenerative effects. Amongst them, amniotic-derived cells recently emerged as tendon pro-regenerative stem cell sources documenting efficacy either under preclinical or clinical settings (1). In particular, a xenogeneic preclinical study (human amniotic epithelial cells-hAEC transplanted in injured ovine tendons) started to define the mechanisms mediating AEC tendon healing introducing elements to improve their regenerative future use. hAEC, indeed, exerted their early healing effect by up-regulating limited transcripts (49 out of 4000 analyzed) belonging to tendon-lineage related function (epithelial-mesenchymal transition, connective specific matrix components, and skeleton or muscle system development) and paracrine signaling pathways modulating inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions (2).
Aim: The purpose of this study is to verify how the phenotype of transplanted AEC (epithelial, mesenchymal, or early tendon differentiated) affects the process of early tendon healing.
Methodology & Experimental Plan: To verify the role of the stepwise in vivo trans-differentiation of AECs during early tendon healing, in the present research 3 different AEC subsets displaying epithelial (eAECs), mesenchymal (mAECs), and tendon (tdAECs) phenotype (3-4) were allotransplanted in a validated experimental model of sheep Achilles tendon injury (5). Tissue healing was comparatively analyzed at two healing endpoints (14 and 28 days).
Results: All subsets of AEC were able to accelerate tendon healing: mAECs with a lesser extent than eAECs and tdAECs in terms of key histological tissue scores at both 14 and 28 days. Of note, eAECs and tdAECs displayed 2 different underlying regenerative mechanisms. The eAECs exerted a greater ability to convey host tissue shift from pro-inflammatory to pro-regenerative responses (immune cell presence and cytokines expression profiles), leading to a prompt and more ordered extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and blood vessel remodeling. On the other hand, tdAECs acted mainly on the proliferative phase by impacting the density and organization of ECM (low cellularity and angle alignment).
Conclusion & Significance: AEC-based therapies are confirmed as a concrete therapeutic advanced solution to the challenges of tendon care and sector policy goals. The present evidence highlights the opportunity for differentiated and targeted use of this stem cell source to face tendinopathies. In particular, the transplantation of eAECs is a preferable strategy for the treatment of acute injuries taking account of their greater plasticity and stronger immunomodulatory properties.

Biography:

Barbara Barboni is a cell biologist from years addressed the study of reproductive-derived cells’ function. Her scientific expertise has always made use of both theoretical (systems biology) and experimental approaches in vitro and in vivo mainly on preclinical models of regeneration. She has built her university commitment after years of experience in research, evaluation, teaching, and administration in university and ministerial institutions.

Valentina Russo

Valentina Russo

University of Teramo
Italy

Title: Assessment of the enhanced functional paracrine effect of amniotic epithelial stem cells when cultured on 3D biomimetic scaffolds: An in vitro model to simulate tendon regeneration

Abstract:

Statement: Tendon disorders pose a considerable challenge in regenerative medicine primarily because of the tissue's limited ability to heal and for the inefficacy of current therapies (1). Successful tendon regeneration requires a tuned regulation of the interactions among the immune system, blood vessels, and somatic/progenitor cells involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. The coordination of these three components is essential for the advancement of tissue engineering (TE) strategies aimed at improving tendon regeneration. Recent advances in regenerative medicine highlight the crucial role of paracrine-mediated intercellular communication between stem cells, as an amniotic epithelial stem cell source, and tissue repair processes (2,3). These findings underscore a novel aspect of scaffold-based TE, stressing the necessity to investigate their paracrine inductive effects on stem cells to anticipate their safety and effectiveness before progressing toward preclinical and clinical translation. Particularly in the context of tendon TE, this aspect has not been systematically studied before.
Aim: the present study aimed to investigate whether a validated 3D PLGA scaffold, designed to mimic the hierarchical architecture and mechanical properties of native tendons (4), could stimulate engineered amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) to release paracrine molecules.
Methodology & Experimental Plan: The conditioned media (CM) derived from AECs-engineered fleeces (AECs-2D) and 3D scaffolds (AECs-3D) were characterized and tested in vitro for their biological impact on target cells representing three key systems for tendon regeneration: human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), two types of immune cells (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) and Jurkat reporter cells), and stem cells with a tendency for tenogenic differentiation (AECs) (2,3). This setup aimed to replicate, in a culture setting, the processes of blood vessel formation, immunomodulation, and tenogenic differentiation, respectively.
Results: The findings highlight the significant influence of scaffold topology and topography on modulating the paracrine profile of the cells. Specifically, AECs cultured on 3D scaffolds exhibited enhanced basal release of bioactive molecules, particularly VEGF-D, b-FGF, RANTES, and PDGF-BB (p < 0.0001 vs. control). Furthermore, biological assays demonstrated that 3D scaffolds proactively potentiated the inhibitory paracrine effect of AECs on PBMCs proliferation (CM3D vs. control, p < 0.001) and LPS-induced Jurkat cell activation compared to controls (CM3D and CM2D vs. control, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), without displaying any pro-angiogenic effect on promoting HUVECs proliferation and tubule formation. The teno-inductive paracrine capability of AECs engineered on 3D scaffolds was confirmed through co-culture experiments, resulting in the formation of tendon-like structures. These structures exhibited upregulation of tendon-related genes (SCX, THBS4, COL1, and TNMD) and expression of TNMD and COL1 proteins (5).
Conclusion & Significance: In conclusion, this research highlights the pivotal role of tendon 3D mimetic scaffolds in creating a tailored microenvironment capable of instructing the paracrine-mediated regenerative potential of amniotic epithelial stem cells. This orchestrated environment facilitates effective tendon regeneration by modulating cellular behavior and promoting communication between engineered stem cells and different subpopulations within the injured tendon.

Biography:

Valentina Russo is a Full Professor of Anatomy at the University of Teramo. Valentina is the coordinator of the PhD program in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology. Her research interests mainly focus on amniotic epithelial stem cells and their application in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, particularly for tendon therapy. She is the Principal Investigator of national (PRIN, FIRB, PNRR) and European (H2020-MSCA) research projects, particularly leading the H2020-MSCA-ITN EJD-2020-P4 FIT project (Perspectives For Future Innovation in Tendon repair). She has built her university commitment after years of experience in research, evaluation, teaching, and administration in academic institutions.

Henrique Coelho

Henrique Coelho

University Hospital – Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul
Brazil

Title: Autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy reverses detrusor underactivity: Open clinical trial Deanna

Abstract:

Background Detrusor underactivity is a disease that can cause chronic urinary tract infection, urinary tract infec‑ tion, urinary retention and kidney failure and has no eective treatment in traditional medicine. The present research evaluated the eects of cell therapy with adipose tissue‑derived stem cells on the treatment of detrusor underactivity in men. Methods Nine male patients diagnosed with a clinical and urodynamic diagnosis of detrusor underactivity were evaluated and underwent two transplants via cystourethroscopy, with 2 × 106 cells/transplant, performed by intra‑ vesical injection at ve points on the bladder body above the vesical trigone. Results Cell therapy increased the maximum ow from 7.22 ± 1.58 to 13.56 ± 1.17, increased the mean ow from 3.44 ± 0.74 to 5.89 ± 0.45, increased the urinated volume from 183.67 ± 49.28 to 304.78 ± 40.42 and reduced the residual volume in the uroowmetry exam from 420.00 ± 191.41 to 118.33 ± 85.51; all of these changes were sig‑ nicant (p < 0.05). There were also signicant increases (p < 0.05) in maximum ow (from 7.78 ± 0.76 to 11.56 ± 1.67), maximum detrusor pressure (from 20.22 ± 8.29 to 41.56 ± 5.75), urinary volume (from 244 ± 27.6 to 418.89 ± 32.73) and bladder contractility index (from 44.33 ± 4.85 to 100.56 ± 8.89) in the pressure ow study. Scores on the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire decreased from 11.44 ± 1.43 to 3.78 ± 0.78 after cell therapy, which indicates an improvement in quality of life and a return to daily activities. No complications were observed in the 6‑month follow‑up after cell therapy. Before treatment, all patients performed approximately ve intermittent clean catheterizations daily. After cell therapy, 7/9 patients (77.78%) did not need catheterizations and the number of catheterizations for 2/9 patients (22.28%) was reduced to two catheterizations/day. Conclusions The results indicate that stem cell therapy led to improvements in voiding function. Cell therapy with adipose tissue‑derived stem cells is safe and should be considered a new therapeutic option for the treatment of detrusor under activity.

Biography:

He holds a degree in Medicine from the Federal University of Grande Dourados (2006), a master's degree in Health and Development in the Midwest Region from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (2016) and a PhD in Health and Development in the Midwest Region from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (2022). He is currently a cooperative physician - Unimed Campo Grande MS - Medical Work Cooperative and urology service at the Maria Aparecida Pedrossian University Hospital. He has experience in the areas of urology, lithiasis, voiding dysfunction, oncology, and quality of life.

Frank Staal

Frank Staal

Leiden University Medical Center
Netherlands

Title: Stem cell-based gene therapy for Recombinase deficient-SCID

Abstract:

Recombinase-activating gene (RAG) deficient SCID patients lack B and T lymphocytes due to the inability to rearrange immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes. The two RAG genes are acting as a required dimer to initiate gene recombination. Gene therapy is a valid treatment alternative for RAG-SCID patients, who lack a suitable bone marrow donor, but developing such therapy for RAG1/2 has proven challenging, given the high expression levels needed, especially for RAG1.

We tested clinically relevant lentiviral SIN vectors with 8 different internal promoters driving codon-optimized versions of the RAG1 or RAG2 genes to ensure optimal expression. We used Rag1-/- or Rag2-/-mice as a preclinical model for RAG-SCID to assess the efficacy of the various vectors at low vector copy numbers. In parallel, the conditioning regimen in these mice was optimized using busulfan instead of commonly used total body irradiation. To minimize the risks of insertional mutagenesis, we have chosen to aim for VCN around one, to avoid multiple integrations in the same stem cell clone. This preclinical program resulted, surprisingly, in different promoter choices in the LV vectors for RAG1 and RAG2.

A clinical trial for RAG1-SCID has been initiated, while for RAG2 a clinical batch vector has been generated in preparation for a Phase/II trial in 2024. Two patients have thus far been included in the RAG1-SCID trial, with excellent clinical and immunological results. Importantly, we aim for multicentre, international trials with various clinical sites in Europe, Asia, and Australia. For several countries, including Spain, Poland, and Turkey, clinical centers have been added, from where patients’ stem cells will be sent to Leiden, genetically modified, and after QC returned to these centers as cryopreserved IMP. Thus, the paradigm of this consortium (cells travel, while patients stay home) has become realistic and should be of use for other gene therapy trials for rare diseases.

Biography:

Prof Dr Frank J.T. Staal obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees (both cum laude) in Medical Biology at Utrecht University. He obtained his PhD degree (1993) at the Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine under the supportive guidance of professors Leonard and Leonore Herzenberg where was taught the intricacies of flow cytometry. His thesis dealt with transcriptional regulation of HIV expression in T-lymphocytes and involved many functional flow cytometric assays and cell sorting experiments. In 1993 he became a postdoctoral fellow at the Netherlands Cancer Institute for 2 years, after which he moved back to Utrecht University as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) in the laboratory of Professor Hans Clevers. In 2000 he was recruited to Erasmus Medical Center (EMC) Rotterdam to start his laboratory on human T cell development and became an assistant professor. In 2004 he was appointed associate professor at EMC and expanded his research to Wnt signaling in blood stem cells and T cells, as well as to gene therapy for immune disorders. In 2008 he was recruited to the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and became a full professor of Molecular Stem Cell biology. His research focuses on stem cell biology and lymphocyte development, including thymus biology. He has brought stem cell-based gene therapy for several types of SCID to the clinic, in an expanding portfolio that includes immune deficiencies and lysosomal storage diseases. Staal coordinates several large European and national consortia in the area of clinical gene therapy.

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