Hans Clevers on Stem Cell Research: IPS vs. Embryonic Stem Cells
  Hans Clevers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2008

: Yeah, I think in general people would have a hard time accepting embryo derived stem cell products, drugs, or whatever you’d call them. But that I think is no longer needed so the adult stem cells are one source of stem cells that one could use, avoiding the ethical issues. There was a recent development by—there was a recent finding by Yamanaka and colleagues in Japan that have been followed massively, particularly in the U.S., called the IPS cells. So these are cells taken from patients and then turned into embryonic stem cells in the lab and this totally avoids any ethical issue. So I think when that becomes common knowledge and when technology develops around these IPS cells I think there will be no ethical barriers.

That’s a very good question, whether these IPS cells are as good as ESLs. As far as I follow the field, every indication is so that that’s actually true. People find very few if any differences between ESLs and IPS cells.

Hans Clevers obtained his MD degree in 1984 and his PhD degree in 1985 from the University Utrecht, the Netherlands. His postdoctoral work (1986-1989) was done with Cox Terhorst at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of the Harvard University, Boston, USA.

From 1991-2002 Hans Clevers was Professor in Immunology at the University Utrecht and, since 2002, Professor in Molecular Genetics. Since 2002, he is director of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht.

Hans Clevers has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2000 and is the recipient of several awards, including the Dutch Spinoza Award in 2001, the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize in 2004, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Katharine Berkan Judd Award in 2005, the Israeli Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in 2006, and the Dutch Josephine Nefkens Prize for Cancer Research and the German Meyenburg Cancer Research Award in 2008. He obtained an ERC Advanced Investigator grant in 2008. He is Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur since 2005.


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