The first batch of students is likely to be sent to Japan by April, 2009. A focused training programme could address the dearth of biotech, life sciences and medicine graduate who are qualified to do cell culture.
Kyoto University, Japan’s second oldest premier institution, also plans to set up a centre for Regenerative Medicine (NiSCELL) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November, in technical collaboration with the NCRM.
It has also entered into an MoU for starting a PhD programme in stem cell research with Bharatidasan University. Dr. Abraham expects these developments to make Chennai, the stem cell research hub of Asia.
He pointed out that the NCRM already shares academic, research and technological collaborations with University of Toronto where stem cells were first discovered apart from a host of other centres of excellence in and outside India.
However, regenerative therapy with iPS cells could still carry some limitations with biological repair into the clinical setting as in case of patients requiring total spine replacement.
“We believe… and this has been well established across the world…that a severed spine will not regenerate under any controlled condition,” said MIOT Hospitals managing director P.V.A. Mohandas.