Stem cells and women’s health



George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC 2010-03-22


Dr Reijo Pera

Stem cells and women’s health


Dr. Rejio Pera will discuss her research on Stem cells and reproduction, Women’s somatic health and Women in Cancer.

In recent years, much emphasis has been placed on realizing the promise of stem cells in medicine. Yet, little focus has been placed on issues related to women’s health. We seek to improve women’s health through stem cells.

Stem cells and reproduction

In the USA, reproductive failure carries a cost burden that exceeds $6 billion annually. Yet, research on reproductive failure, especially on the earliest stages of human reproduction, has been excluded from federal funding. Our group explored the use of modern developmental genetic and biophysical means to develop novel diagnostics and interventions based on scientific evidence. The use of assisted reproductive techniques to alleviate reproductive failure results in the annual culture of more than a million embryos. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases fail to develop properly for unknown reasons. We have sought to remedy the current state, with studies that will result in the optimization of embryo culture and diagnosis of germ line and embryo developmental competence and subsequent fetal and neonatal consequences.

Women’s somatic health

Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in women for decades; diabetes and autoimmune diseases disproportionately afflict women and with the extension of women’s lifespan, degenerative disorders such as urinary incontinence. Given these facts, a concerted effort to capitalize on the potential of stem cells in somatic health of women is merited.

Women and Cancer

Several cancers are most frequent or exclusive to women including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Promising potential therapies include immunologically-based therapies and therapies aimed at targeting cancer stem cell populations. Efforts to focus cancer stem cell efforts on women’s cancer will be discussed.

We have unprecedented opportunity to explore the unique biology of human development, including that of women, with the advances in stem cell biology.

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Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


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