Cell and transplantation therapy have been part of mainstream medicine for decades, but cell therapy has made only limited advances in several years. Cell therapy is currently used in transfusion medicine, bone marrow transplantation, orthopedics and in dermatology. Although clinical trials have clearly documented the potential for novel cell therapies, cell supply has been severely limiting and is the main obstacle to more wide-spread success. Islet transplants have worked for type 1 diabetes, fetal cells were successful for severe Parkinson's disease and hepatocytes have been useful for the treatment of metabolic disease. Stem cell biology promises to solve the problem of limited cell availability by finding ways to isolate cells from living donors, cadavers or immortal stem cell sources.

The Oregon Stem Cell Center conducts basic and applied research in the field of Stem Cell Biology with the long term goal to harness the properties of stem cells for regenerative medicine and cell therapy.

Center Description

The Oregon Stem Cell Center was created on January 1, 2004 and is directed by Markus Grompe, M.D..  The center is housed on the top (7th) floor of the Biomedical Research Building. In 2009, the center administratively became part of the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute.

The center has both primary and affiliate faculty members representing multiple departments and centers at OHSU. Research topics that are covered include pluripotent stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, leukemia stem cells, hepatic and pancreatic progenitors, mesenchymal stem cells, neural stem cells, muscle stem cells and intestinal stem cells.

The Stem Cell Center Cores

The OSCC has 3 cores, a monoclonal antibody production core, a cell sorting core and a cell isolation core. Philip Streeter, Ph.D.  is the director of these core laboratories. The main goal of the cores is to generate novel reagents for the isolation of stem cells and their differentiated offspring by generating monoclonal antibodies directed against cell surface antigens of living cells. To date, antibodies useful for cell sorting of living cells are only available for a very limited number of tissues, chiefly blood tissues. It therefore has not been possible to isolate and purify living liver stem cells, pancreas stem cells, cardiac stem cells etc. The Oregon stem cell cores are poised to embark on a systematic effort to produce novel cell surface antibodies for all tissues of the mouse, rat, primates and humans.   The cell sorting core uses a state-of-the-art Cytopeia high speed InFlux instrument and is capable of sorting large and fragile cells without loss of viability. Pamela Canaday is the FACS operator. The cell isolation core will provide cell isolations services including tissue procurement and protease digestion of these tissues