Mumbai (India) city docs to showcase stem cell work at world meet
The international symposium cells, the promising if controversial ,science that could deliver mankind from diseases and ill health will see 40 scientists from US, UK. Italy, Germany and Israel presenting their works in the treatment of Leukemia ,diabetes, congenital heart failures and spinal cord disorders.
One of Mumbai’s contributions would be preliminary work on what could completely change treatment for infertility ,menopause and its male equivalent ,and or pause. This is part of the ongoing work at the low-profile National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH) .a laboratory affiliated to the country’s premier scientific hub, the Indian Council for Medical Research.
The aim is to show that India does not lag behind in stem cell research even while highlighting the ethical issues involved, said Dr Chander Puri. director of NIRRH which is organizing the symposium ,Said an ICMR official who is in the city for the meet. Countries like UK and US are investing heavily in stem cell research .Even Korea and China are increasing their presence in the field. The government does not want India to lag behind.
But the efforts are already on as the Mumbai chapter of stem cell research shows. NIRRH’s Dr Deepa Bharatiya’s work on cryo preserving ovarian tissues(preserving a biopsy tissue of the ovary containing a few stem cells) will in the next few days take the leap from animals research to human viability studies.
We showed that genetic parenthood is possible in this manner she said. This work is important if one considers that by 2010. almost one in every 250 young adults in reproductive age will be a cancer survivor ,Cancer survival rates have improved but chemotherapy can effect people’s reproductive system ,explained Dr Puri.If we can preserve their gonads (testis or ovaries as against the present option of preserving sperms) patients will be able to have children, he added.
Dr K V S Reddy ,also from NIRRH will show case his work in isolating a protein and then a gene that causes infertility in male rats.
We have been able to produce sterile rats by introducing genes(stem cells), explained the doctor ,who is headed to the US for a yearlong research in the field .When extrapolated .Reddy’s experiments could combat sterility in men.
Sion Hospital’s Dr Alok Sharma , too. is scheduled to present his stem cell work in animal models with regard to degenerative neurological diseases during the 3-day meet.