Council for Development of Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies
History and Background
Stem cell research began in the late 1950s, when scientists started looking for treatments to help people with untreatable disorders.
Advancement in regenerative medicine, from flaps to tissue engineering have taken place thanks to our knowledge on stem cells. We now know stem cells as the core of tissue engineering.
The ultimate aim of scientists in the field of stem cell research is to be able to build tissues or organs that can replace injured or diseased tissues in the human body. This concept which gives rise to the generation of mature tissues has made adult stem cells the focus of intense research, designed to treat a variety of human diseases.
The history of stem cell research in Iran goes back to the first hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in 1990s. Since 1994, Iranian researchers have published papers in stem cells-related fields in domestic and international journals. By 2004, stem cell studies in Iran were developed to include embryonic stem cell research.
Since early 2005, Iranian researchers have also been engaged in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Publishing valuable articles in high ranked international journals in these fields of science, has been a continuous trend among Iranian researchers ever since.
The Council for Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies, affiliated to the Iranian Vice Presidency for Science and Technology was established in February 2009 with the aim of accelerating progress towards stem cell based treatments.
The national document of Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies was also approved as part of the country's national scientific map in September 2013 at the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. Iran's headway towards stem cell sciences and regenerative medicine, despite limited investments, reveals the country's enormous potential to grow in this field.
In terms of published papers in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, Islamic Republic is ranked first in the Middle East and among Islamic countries and is second among the East Mediterranean and North African countries.
Stem cell research market in the world has grown exponentially over the last decade. It is hoped that due to this incredible increase in investments in stem cell research, Iran will be one of the world’s top 10 countries by 2025 in terms of science and wealth creation in this novel area of research.
• To improve optimal stem cell mobilization results
• To bring together our internal scientific expertise and our intimate understanding of the fields we support, inventing ways to help leading scientists do their work more efficiently and effectively
• To encourage participation of the private sector, NGOs and foreign investors in the field, with an emphasis on inter-agency cooperation
• To observe the ethical, religious, and social principles for further development of the field
• To keep up with country's 10-year strategic plan by 2025
• To encourage self-reliance in the production of basic material, laboratory equipment and supplies with the aim of meeting at least 50 percent of the domestic demand
• To enhance national wealth creation through applying stem cells and its products to treat various diseases and to access international stem cell market value
• To obtain the knowledge required in efficient banking of stem cells
• To involve private sector in research, technology development and wealth creation while keeping the policymaking and supervisory role to the government
• To create new knowledge with a view of making our way up to the world’s top ten countries in the field, as well as publishing scientific papers in credible international journals
• To engage 700 researchers to the council and to assign them to 25 target-oriented expert committees
• To set up associations to develop stem cell sciences and regenerative medicine, with universities of medical sciences worldwide
Regarding international cooperation, the Council for Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies is interested in:
• Collaborating with universities, research centers and companies at the international level to conduct clinical trials in the field of stem cell sciences and regenerative medicine
• Conducting gene therapy studies and clinical trials on genetic disorders such as thalassemia, severe inborn immunodeficiency etc.
• Sharing Expertise in the field of stem cell therapy for cancer, including CAR T-cell therapy