NEW YORK, NY (June 18, 2014) - Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS) hold enormous potential to unravel the mechanisms of human illness and to develop new therapeutics. Until now, there has been no easily searchable database for investigators to find and share these important resources. This has been a major obstacle to the implementation of iPS technology.
Recognizing the research potential of shared iPS cell lines, the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and the eagle-i Network will make NYSCF iPS cell lines and related information available to the public on a user-friendly, web-based, searchable database. The database (called the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell database) will help scientists find valuable resources, enabling collaboration, preventing duplicative work, and ultimately accelerating research.
NYSCF and eagle-i will establish an open access repository of information on large numbers of iPS cell lines. eagle-i will display information as linked open data, enabling discovery by any third party search engine. NYSCF derives hundreds of iPS cell lines from skin samples of patients with a wide variety of diseases using the NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM technology, an automated platform for high-throughput iPS cell production and differentiation. Scientists will be able to search for NYSCF iPS cell lines under several categories including disease, how the cells were reprogrammed, and patient age at the time the sample was collected.
"This important tool should have significant impact on the science community," said Lee Nadler, principal investigator of Harvard Catalyst and eagle-i. "I'm thrilled that we will contribute to this partnership by creating a user-friendly, searchable database for the iPS cell lines that NYSCF has produced, enabling researchers to search for available lines on an open access platform. The opportunities this will create are tremendous."
"We were very excited to develop this resource for stem cell scientists," said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Chief Executive Officer. "It is important to have open access to available resources and this collaboration with eagle-i is a prime example of interdisciplinary teams working together to provide this for the scientific community."
The alpha version of the website will be presented during the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Conference in Vancouver, Canada in June 2014. Future versions of the database will include genomic and other clinical and cellular phenotype information, including a mechanism that will allow scientists to order lines directly from the website. Soon, NYSCF and eagle-i will invite other institutions from around the world to join this collaboration and contribute their iPS cell lines to the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell database, creating an even more robust research tool.
At the ISSCR Conference this week, Richard V. Pearse, PhD, from eagle-i will be at poster F-2245 during poster session III and NYSCF will be at booth 918 with information pertaining to this new initiative.
About The New York Stem Cell Foundation
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) is an independent organization founded in 2005 to accelerate cures and better treatments for patients through stem cell research. NYSCF employs over 45 researchers at the NYSCF Research Institute, located in New York, and is an acknowledged world leader in stem cell research and in developing pioneering stem cell technologies, including the NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM. Additionally, NYSCF supports another 60 researchers at other leading institutions worldwide through its Innovator Programs, including the NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellowships and the NYSCF - Robertson Investigator Awards. NYSCF focuses on translational research in a model designed to overcome the barriers that slow discovery and replaces silos with collaboration.
eagle-i is an open source, open access resource discovery platform in use at more than 28 academic and research institutions across the United States. eagle-i works to make invisible resources visible beyond the laboratories or universities where they were developed to speed the pace of scientific discovery. Currently, eagle-i is funded by Harvard Catalyst, The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (grant number 1UL1 TR001102-01).