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About me

My overall aim is to evaluate the clinical potential and significance of stem and progenitor cells obtained from perinatal tissues.

Education

PhD 2004, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subject: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation & transplantation research
Thesis: Characterization of human fetal mesenchymal stem cells.

MSc 2001, Södertörns University College, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subject: Molecular Cell Biology
Degree thesis: Clinical aspects on maternal cells in the fetus.

Research description

Cells derived from the fetal and perinatal tissues have more potential than cells derived from adult tissues. Promising candidates for clincial translation are multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC).

The interest in these cells is based on their multipotentiality, low immunogenicity and tissue repairing effects in combination with a minimal oncogeneic risk.

1. Characterizing and comparing MSC from different perinatal sources

We work with many fetal and perinatal sources: fetal tissues (first trimester), amniotic fluid, chorionic villus, biopsies of muscle and skin (second trimester), umbilical cord blood, placenta, Wharton´s Jelly (term).

These cells are evaluated for their potential in perinatal regenerative medicine in clinical application. We also evaluate how maternal and fetal microchimerism, pregnancy, and mode of delivery affect the isolated cells.

2. Developing new clinical treatment options using perinatal MSC for:

  • Prenatal och postnatal infusion for severe osteogenesis imperfecta (clincial trial soon to start)
  • Severe structural defects diagnosed before birth
  • Life threatening bronchopulmonary dysplasia and necrotizing enterocolitis in premature babies

3. MSC and endometriosis

In this project we examine the involvement of MSC in the chronic inflammatory disease endometriosis.

4. Wait a minute - umbilical cord blood collection and clamping

Umbilical cord blood contains large amounts of unique blood stem cells that can be used to cure people with leukemia. However, lately late umbilical cord clamping has been proposed and applied in many hospitals in Sweden since late clamping has been associated with increased iron depots in the child. It is unclear how this relates to health and wellbeing of the infant.

We are examining how clamping at 1 minute affects children's health status related to early (<10 seconds) or late (>3 minutes) clamping. We are also evaluating if it is possible to collect cord blood for clinical banking with clamping at 1 minute.

Teaching portfolio

  • Director of Studies, Doctoral Program in Regenerative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet 2008-2015
  • Organizer of 5 doctoral courses and 9 scientific conferences in the regenerative medicine field
  • 200+ hours of teaching on all levels

Links

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Videos

BBC Two, Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston's Casebook: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08l5ctt