Philadelphia Business Journal Spotlights Coriell's $10M Award


The Philadelphia Business Journal's John George recently talked with Coriell President and CEO Dr. Michael Christman to discuss the Institute's landmark $10 million award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

As part of an initiative to stimulate research in the field of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), a realm of science Coriell has been exploring for years, Coriell will establish a state-of-the-art iPSC bank in California that will be broadly accessible to researchers worldwide. Coriell will team with the reputed Cellular Dynamics International, a leader in the for-profit iPSC industry, to create and manage 9,000 new cell lines, from 3,000 individuals, representing 11 human diseases. Cell lines will be created from patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorders, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and infantile epilepsy, diseases of the eye, and respiratory diseases.

"Coriell Institute has established expertise in iPSC technology for several years now, and this award will expand our presence in the field considerably," said Christman. "We've also determined the best practices in biobanking during our 60 years of operations by managing millions of biological specimen for research discovery around the globe. We see the vast research potential with iPSCs and are enthusiastic about partnering with a visionary company like CDI."

Coriell will establish the biobank in California with proven methods for managing sample collection and tracking, safe storage, and capabilities for worldwide distribution of iPSCs generated by CDI.

"These grants will make us the go-to place for getting iPS cells for research, and we will also be using them to conduct our own research," Dr. Christman told Business Journal senior-reporter John George.

iPSC cells are immensely powerful and can be made from skin cells, bone marrow, and blood cells. Scientists reprogram adult cells into naïve cells capable of transforming into any of the body's tissues. The technique is especially valuable to the disease-in-a-dish methodology, which allows scientists to study complex conditions such as Alzheimer's and closely monitor the disease's progression.

Coriell's stem cell laboratory has developed an expertise with iPS cells and characterizes, vets, and distributes cell lines through an electronic catalog.

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