Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells 

The Aga Khan University Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research (CRM) brings together an international cadre of scientists, clinicians, post-doctoral fellows, clinician scientists and research associates. 

Researchers at CRM are engaged in the study of:

  • biology of stem cells 

  • stem cell niche  

  • stem cell diseases including cancer 

  • tissue repair 

to advance human health and restore normal function. 

Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary science which offers the potential of curing a disease; a paradigm shift potentially revolutionizing patient care. Organ, tissue or cell regeneration could result from repairing, replacing or regenerating specific cells or tissue by stimulating the body’s own repair processes, transplanting cells or using cells to deliver therapeutic agents. 

Stem cell research is at the core of regenerative medicine. 

The field of regenerative medicine and stem cell biology brings together scientists from different disciplines including bio-tissue engineering, biomaterials (scaffolds and matrices), developmental biology, pharmacology, nanotechnology, imaging, and nanotechnology. 

Research Themes 

Research at CRM is focused on harnessing stem cell technologies to develop regionally (Pakistan and East Africa) relevant induced pluripotent stem cell lines. The aim will be to understanding the biology of diseases and to use this knowledge to develop economically viable therapies and diagnostic kits and contribute towards improved human health. Specific areas of research focus will be developed in one or more of the following themes: 

Stem cell biology 

The research will be focused on unraveling and understanding the mechanisms underpinning the growth, differentiation of multipotent and pluripotent stem cells from normal and diseased states.  

Stem cell niche 

The stem cell niche or the stem cell microenvironment plays a central role in the repair and renewal of tissues and organs. Repair and renewal are essential in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Studies focused on characterizing the different cell type niches including understanding how the niche can be modified by either activation of intrinsic or through extrinsic factors.

Generating and validating disease-specific iPSC cells and creating an iPSC stem cell bank 

Validation will include undertaking a chromosomal, genetic and epigenetic analysis of iPSC cell lines for clinical use. 

Undertaking clinical trials and drug development