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15 Jun 2012

I-Stem

Illustration for article: I-Stem
The stem cell institute to treat and study monogenic diseases (I-Stem) explores potential treatments for rare genetic diseases, using human stem cells, both embryonic and adult. It is one of France's pioneers in this field.

A pioneer institute

I-Stem is one of the pioneers of research into stem cells. Created in 2005 at the Evry Genopole bioparc, this institute is the result of a collaboration between the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Téléthon), Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and the University of Evry-Val-d'Essonne.

It focuses on three different activities: a fundamental biological research laboratory, a technological development and applications platform and a centre of biological and technological resources.

Its laboratory received the first authorisation issued by the Biomedicine Agency to import strains of human embryonic stem cells (hES from overseas following a specific authorization process for research using embryos that was included in the bioethics law of 2004.

A leader in its field

Led by Marc Peschanski, research director at Inserm, I-Stem consolidated its leading position since its creation. The team led by Anselme Perrier successfully made the first graft of human embryonic stem cells into an animal model of Huntington's disease. I-Stem teams then performed the first high-speed molecular screening on embryonic stem cells to identify the molecules active in type 1 myotonic dystrophy (Steinert's disease).

In 2009, an I-Stem team successfully recreated an entire epidermis from embryonic stem cells.

Visit I-Stem's website