Portrait of Professor Colin Green and Associate Professor Trevor Sherwin.

At the University of Auckland’s Department of Ophthalmology Professor Colin Green [at front in the picture] and Associate Professor Trevor Sherwin have shown that adult cells such as the stromal keratocyte in the cornea of the eye [a fibroblastic cell] are pluripotent and can be induced to differentiate into other cell types with the simple addition of specific growth factor combinations. They have demonstrated in vivo reprogramming with the aim to treat nerve loss in anaesthetic cornea, and to in vivo engineer the cornea as a treatment for keratoconus and myopia. They are translating their work to large animal models in order to underpin clinical translation, with commercial interest in their work. The same ideas can be applied to chondrocytes/adipocytes for hard tissue regeneration.

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