Dr. Peter Zandstra

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 This week we profile a recent publication in Biotechnology and Bioengineering from Dr. Peter Zandstra (above)
at the University of British Columbia and Dr. Yonatan Lipsitz (below) at the University of Toronto
.

Can you provide a brief overview of the research focus in the Zandstra lab?

Understanding and guiding cell fate decisions in stem cell maintenance and differentiation to enable scalable manufacturing of cell therapy products.

What is the significance of the findings in your publication?

This study develops a novel technology to control aggregation of pluriportent stem cells in suspension manufacturing processes. Aggregation is a critical and highly variable property in stem cell bioreactor manufacturing. We discovered a chemical method to control the way stem cells aggregate in a predictable and reproducible manner. This technology will improve the robustness of pluripotent stem cell manufacturing processes and help move these therapies towards efficient clinical production.

What are the next steps for this research?

We have a follow up paper coming out to further develop this story and improve on another key limitation: process yield.

This research was funded by:

Dr. Lipsitz was funded by the NSERC CGS-D program. Dr. Zandstra is funded by the Canada Research Chairs program and Medicine by Design.

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