This post was contributed by Kusumika (Kushi) Mukherjee, a Postdoc at Massachussetts General Hospital.
A little over a decade back when Yamanaka and colleagues reported that it is possible to reprogram differentiated cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the addition of reprogramming (or “Yamanaka”) factors, they changed the landscape of regenerative medicine. Their work opened up vast possibilities for the clinical and therapeutic applications of iPSCs. The generation of human iPSCs (hiPSCs) now provides an opportunity to develop and use patient-specific somatic cells that are otherwise difficult to obtain. These can then be used to perform cell therapy and to model diseases in vitro.