MENU

 

                                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

Centre Name:

Centre for Stem Cell Research (CSCR)

Chairperson:

Professor Dr. Choo Kong Bung 

Description of the Centre:
 

 

 

 

 

 

The Centre for Stem Cell Research, or CSCR in short, was established on 1st May 2011. The CSCR secretariat is presently located at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). The Centre aims to promote multi-disciplinary stem cell research activities leading to the advancement of knowledge on the mechanisms of cellular reprogramming and stem cell differentiation leading to the translation of basic research findings into clinical benefits and improvement in the quality of healthcare in Malaysia. The Centre also collaborates with local and overseas universities, community, industry and the government to provide innovative solutions and to facilitate knowledge transfer.

Research areas: 

        DEVELOPMENT OF CORE TECHNOLOGICAL PLATFORMS & FACILITIES FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH

        DEVELOPMENT OF DISEASE MODELS FOCUSSING ON CANCERS

        DEVELOPMENT OF CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF MSCS ISOLATED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

        DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIES FOR CELL THERAPY OF DISEASES  

        DEVELOPMENT OF AESTHETIC MEDICINE FOCUSSING ON HAIR REGENERATION

 

 

Activities in 2013

 

 

Date

 

Activity

 

Venue

11 January 2013

 

CSCR General Meeting

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

22 February 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms Nurul Amira bt Buslima Title: Mulberry Leaf Extract Inhibits Cancer Cell Stemness in Neuroblastoma

Journal: Nutrition and Cancer, 2012, 64, 889-898

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

1 March 2013

 

CSCR General Meeting

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

29 March 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms Lee Mei Wei   

Title: Human papillomavirus infection is inhibited by host autophagy in primary human keratinocytes

Journal: Virology, 2013, 437, 12-19

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

26 April 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms Norlaily Mohd Ali

Title: Hypoxia inhibits senescence and maintains mesenchymal stem cell properties through down-regulation of E2A-p21 by HIF-TWIST

Journal: Blood, 2011, 117, 459-469

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

25 May 2013

 

UTAR Seminar on Recent Advances in Stem Cell Research 2013

Lecture Theatre 1, UTAR Sg Long Campus

25 July 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms Nguyen Phan Nguyen Nhi Title: c-Myc modulates microRNA processing via the transciptional regulation of Drosha

Journal: Scientific Reports, 2013, 3, 1942

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

25 July 2013

 

CSCR General Meeting

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

27 September 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms Erica Choong Pei Fen   Title: Pluripotent Stem Cells Induced from Mouse Somatic Cells by Small molecule compounds

Journal: Science, 2013, 341, 651-654

 

Speaker: Ms Michelle Hiew Sook Yuin

Title: Up-regulation of microRNA-1290 impairs cytokinesis and affect the reprogramming of colon cancer cells

Journal: Cancer Letters, 2013, 329, 155-163

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

25 October 2013

 

CSCR Journal Club

Speaker: Ms K. Shri Hymavathee   

Title: Human mesenchymal stem cell-replicative senescence and oxidative stress are closely linked to aneuploidy

Journal: Cell Death and Disease, 2013, e691

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

2 December 2013

 

3rd UTAR Seminar on Stem Cell and iPSC Research (2013): Basic & Translational Aspects

Lecture Theatre 1, UTAR Sg Long Campus

13 December 2013

 

CSCR talk

Speaker: Professor Choo Kong Bung Title: Understanding regulation of gene expression: my life-long journey as a molecular biologist

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

13 December 2013

 

CSCR General Meeting

FMHS Research Lab Seminar Room, UTAR Sg Long Campus

  

Report and Images of Major Events

=============================================================

 UTAR Seminar in Recent Advances in Stem Cell Research 2013

 

Date/time: 25 May, 2013 (Sat) 9.30 am – 12.30 noon

Venue: Sg Long campus, Lecture Theatre 1

=============================================================

Introduction

 Stem cells bring in great hope in cell based therapy for regenerative medicine due to their self-renewal and differentiation potential. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent while adult stem cells are only multipotent. The former can be cultured to form any type of cells while the latter has limited lineage differentiation potential. In year 2006, Yamanaka from Kyoto University, Japan, created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) where specialized mature cells were ‘reprogrammed’ to obtain embryonic stem-like vast differentiation properties. In year 2012, Yamanaka and Gurdon received Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for the discovery of iPSC. Here, research at the Center of Stem Cell Research (CSCR) in UTAR focuses on both adult stem cells and iPSCs.

Progression of scientific research is often boosted by knowledge sharing between various institutions and diverse groups of specialized researchers. This is extremely important for emerging scientists, especially post graduate students. Thus, on 25th May 2013, Center for Stem Cell Research, UTAR, and College of Pathologist, Academy of Medicine, Malaysia co-organized the second Seminar on Stem Cell Research since inception of CSCR in 2011; the first seminar was conducted in 2012.

The seminar
Announcement of the seminar

 


Organising Committee

 

Advisor: Emeritus Prof. Cheong SK

Chairperson: Prof. Choo KB

Secretary: Prof. Jenny Deva

Treasurer: Assist. Prof. Leong PP

Special assistant to chairperson: Ms Sharon K.Shri

 The speakers

There were a total of 4 speakers, Prof. John Rasko from University of Sydney, Australia; Prof. Tunku Kamarul from University of Malaya; Prof. Choo Kong Bung from University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Assoc. Prof. Chin Sze Piaw from Cytopeutics Sdn Bhd. Prof. Rasko, the keynote speaker gave two talks. The seminar covered the topics in stem cell bench work, genetic analysis, clinical application, and the recent discoveries in iPSC and ASC.

Participants and attendance

Registered participants: 106

Postgraduate students:  44% (47% of whom were from UTAR, including  students from FSc, Kampar campus)

Academic staff: 26%

Corporate participants: 30%

Participating institutions:11 universities

Participating corporate bodies:12

Sponsorships

Sponsorships for the seminar were received from:

         IPSR, UTAR

         All Eight Sdn Bhd

         Axon Scientific Sdn Bhd

         Stemedics Sdn Bhd

         Bio-diagnostics Sdn Bhd &

         Biomarketing Sdn Bhd.

 
The types of sponsorships received included goodie bags for participants, stationary for participants, direct payments for tea and lunch (which were free for all participants) and for post-seminar lunch for the speakers at the Sg Long Hospital Caffeteria, and a small amount of cash for seminar certificates and miscellaneous. With the generosity of the sponsoring bodies, we were able to provide morning tea and lunch for all participants; along with memorable souvenirs for our speakers. 
 
The account of expenses is kept by the Treasurer of the seminar, Dr. Leong PP of FMHS, and is open for scrutiny.)

=============================================================

 3rd UTAR Seminar on Stem Cell & IPSC Research (2013):

Basic & Translational Aspect”

 

Date/time: 2 December, 2013 (Mon) 9.00 am – 3:30 pm

Venue: Sg Long campus, Lecture Theatre 1

=============================================================

Introduction

UTAR Centre for Stem Cell Research (CSCR) and College of Pathologists, Academy of Medicine Malaysia co-organised the 3rd UTAR Seminar on Stem Cell and iPSC Research : Basic & Translational Aspects at UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 2 December 2013. 

Organising Committee

Advisor: Emeritus Prof. Cheong SK

Chair: Prof. Choo KB

Secretary/ Treasurer: Assist. Prof Leong PP

Committee members: Prof Dr Shelly Soo

                                      Assoc. Prof Dr Alan Ong HK

Special assistant to chairperson: Ms Sharon K.Shri

Committee members:  Boo Lily

                                      Chiew Men Yee

                                      Lim Sheng Jye

                                      Michele Hiew Sook Huin

                                      Nalini Devi Verusingam

                                      Nguyen Phan Nguyen Nhi

                                      Norlaily mohd Ali

                                      Tan Lihui

                                      Vimalan Rengganaten

Announcement of the Seminar

Participants & Attendance

Registered participants: 89

Postgraduate students: 48% (37% were from FMHS, UTAR)

Academic staff: 31% (46% were from FMHS, UTAR)

Corporate participants: 21%

Participating academic institutions:10 universities

Participating corporate bodies: 6

 

Summary of Participants of 3rd UTAR Stem Cell Seminar on 2 Dec 2013 at

UTAR Sg Long Campus

 

 

Pre- Registration 

 

 

 

Present ,n

%

Absent, n

%

Sub-Total

On-site

Total

UTAR

30

88

4

12

34

0

30

UPM

17

100

0

0

17

1

18

UM

8

100

0

0

8

0

8

PPUKM

5

100

0

0

5

0

5

IMR

5

83

1

17

6

0

5

Cryocord

6

100

0

0

6

0

6

Cryopeutics

5

100

0

0

5

0

5

UITM

2

67

1

33

3

0

2

UKM

2

100

0

0

2

0

2

IMU

1

100

0

0

1

0

1

Carif

0

0

1

100

1

0

0

IIUM

1

100

0

0

1

0

1

Uni Sidney

1

100

0

0

1

0

1

Astar

1

100

0

0

1

0

1

USIM

3

75

1

25

4

0

3

Monash

na

na

na

na

na

1

1

Total

87

 

8

 

95

2

89

 

Sponsorships

Sponsorships for the seminar were received from:

         Bio-Diagnostics Sdn Bhd

         Biomarketing Sdn Bhd

         Cryocord Premier Stem Cell Bank

         Matrioux Sdn Bhd

         Research Instruments Sdn Bhd

         Team Medical & Scientific Sdn Bhd

 
The types of sponsorships received included in the form of money or goodie bags for participants, stationary for participants. With the generosity of the sponsoring bodies, we were able to provide morning tea and lunch for all participants; along with memorable souvenirs for our speakers. The account of expenses is kept by the Treasurer of the seminar, Dr. Leong PP. Balance of the money has been returned to DFN, UTAR.

 Speakers

With emphasis on the basic and translational aspects of stem cell research, including induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), the seminar attracted participants from both the academia and the industry. There were local and foreign researchers, representatives, staff and others from thirteen (13) institutions which included research institutions among which are the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) Malaysia, Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), stem cell companies; Cryocord Sdn Bhd & Cytopeutics Sdn Bhd and universities including Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and International Medical University (IMU).

In his welcome speech at the seminar, the chairperson of the organising committee Prof Dr Choo Kong Bung who is also the chairperson of UTAR CSCR said, “We not only have distinguished speakers from Australia and Singapore and two local senior stem cell scientists to update us on the current trends in stem cell research, we also have the pleasure of having six young scientists to be our speakers to present their recent works.” He added that the 3-session seminar would serve as a useful platform for active engagement with participants from different institutions and the training of research students in the art of effective presentations. Prof Dr Shelly Soo from the UTAR Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences was the master of ceremony at the seminar.

 
The event

 
The seminar commenced with a keynote lecture by Prof Dr John Sasko AO who is an Australian pioneer in the application of adult stem cells and genetic therapy. He is also heading the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at the Centenary Institute in the University of Sydney, Australia. His topic was on the hidden layers of gene expression control with focus on microRNAs; the mechanisms and the therapeutic strategies in the control of cell mutations. The next presentation was by Dr Thamil Selvee Ramasamy, Imperial College London, UK & UM, Malaysia, on her research finding about ‘Multiple signaling pathways regulating definitive endoderm differentiation from human embryonic stem cells.’ 

A highlight in the second session was the presentation by the invited speaker; Prof Dr Seow Heng Fong from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia on the relevancy of tumorshperes as in vitro models for studying chemo-resistance of cancer stem cells with references to the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Theory. Showcasing their current findings in stem cell research were the presentations in the same session by post graduate researchers; Teoh Hoon Koon, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC), National Cancer Council, Malaysia & Universiti Putra Malaysia on ‘Inhibition of U266 cell growth by human mesenchymal stromal cell-mediated siRNA silencing of interleukin-6’, Dr Tan Sik-Loo, UM, Malaysia on ‘Growth differentiation factor 5-induced human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells (hMSCs): an imaging analysis via confocal laser scanning microscopy and atomic force microscopy’ and K. Shri Hymavathee from UTAR CSCR on ‘Oxidative stress-induced pre-mature senescence in Wharton jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells.’

 

Of equal interest in the final session were the talks on adipose (fat deposits) tissues as potential sources for metabolic re-programming by Assistant Prof Shikegi Sugii from Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, Singapore and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and the targeting cancer cells with genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells by Emeritus Prof Dr Cheong Soon Keng who is UTAR’s Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The other two presentations were ‘In vitro expansion of hematopoietic stem cell (HSCs) without stable genetic modification’ by Dr Fazlina Nordin, King’s College London, UK & UKMMC, Malaysia and ‘An investigation to determine the chondrogenic differentiation potential of bone marrow and peripheral blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells in vitro’ by Dr Chong Pan Pan, UM, Malaysia.

The question and answer session after each presentation saw a lively interaction between the presenter and the participants. The seminar concluded with the presentation of tokens of appreciation to the four invited speakers and six researchers.

In his closing address, Prof Dr Choo said that the seminar has grown relatively bigger with the addition of young researchers and expressed his appreciation to all the invited speakers, advisors, participants, the organising committee and the sponsors (Bio Diagnostics, Cryocord Sdn Bhd, Matrioux Science, Research Instruments and Team Medical and Science) for making the seminar a success. 

 

Back to Research Centres list