Last week Salk Institute hosted the 6th annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa. Ian Wilmut gave a keynote presentation on the future of reprogramming, iPS and ES cells and direct transdifferentiation.
He basically, called for more attention to direct change of cell fate via transdifferentiation by defined transcription factors instead of going all the way to pluripotency.
Please read Paul Knoepfler’s take on it:
Thus, it is surprising that Wilmut (assuming he was quoted accurately) would have been so quick to dismiss ES cells when trans-differentiation is so new and challenging with only a couple studies. Perhaps, as we hope, transdifferentiation will indeed prove the best, safest method for cell therapies, but I believe that reality is not as close as we had hoped. In the mean time, why abandon ES cell research? With all respect to Wilmut, I think this would be counterproductive.
Watch more videos from this meeting on bradleyfikes’s YouTube channel