Italian National Institute of Health

The Italian “Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico” (IRCCS) are institutions dedicated to biomedical research with the final aim to ensure that patients and the medical community rapidly benefit from the latest research findings. Our Department of Regenerative Medicine is within the IRCCS Fondazione Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, a government-funded national foundation and it is strictly linked with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), the national board that funds scientific research in many different areas, including stem cell research. The Department of Regenerative Medicine is dedicated to the study of adult stem cells, derived from already formed adult tissue, developing fetal tissue and umbilical cord blood, within the limits of the current Rules governing embryonic stem cell research in Italy. One of the Units of the Department is the Milano Cord Blood Bank (MCBB), one of the largest cord blood bank in Europe with more than 6,000 cord blood units available for transplantation. The other two Units are the Blood Transfusion and immunohematology and the Organ and tissues transplantation immunology. In April 2000 the IRCCS opened a clinical research unit (the “Franco Calori” Cell Factory) to conduct new cell strategies and protocols of potential therapeutic use. This is a GMP compliant hospital-based facility managed in agreement with a quality scheme designed by the Italian Medicinal Agency (AIFA, Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco). Its goal is the clinical manipulation of tissue-specific stem cells for regenerative medicine. The basic biology and the potential applications of stem cells are the main focus of research in several laboratories at the IRCCS. Currently the Department of Regenerative Medicine research objectives related to stem cells are:

  • Developing methods for optimal isolation, growth, development of different stem cells
  • Developing methods for the new clinical applications
  • Stem cells for myocardial repair
  • Biobanking

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