iCeMS Learning Lounge #10: Junjun Li + Yoshihiko Fujita, 2016

Catch Me If You Can Dr. Junjun Li

Course Description
Why Our Science Matters
The “Learning Lounge” features young scientists who, in 20 minutes deliver a presentation that will persuade any curious listener, even those without a scientific background, why their research area — not just the personal research of the speaker — is important to the world.


Dr. Junjun Li
“Catch Me If You Can”
Do you care about just “1 error” out of “100,000” normal outcomes? Can you ignore it? NO! You should care! That error will have a huge impact on your health. For safer cell therapy using iPS cells, we need to find every single error; all of the undesired iPS cells from implanted cells or tissues. I will introduce our micro-chip to catch such rare iPS cells.

-Researcher’s comment
The abilities of iPS cells’ infinite proliferation and pluripotency have opened a gate towards regenerative medicine. However, undifferentiated iPS cells might turn into tumours if directly transplanted into a patient. In this talk I introduce a microfluidic chip to efficiently find and eliminate undifferentiated iPS cells from differentiated tissue cells. In near future, I wish this microfluidic chip would provide safer iPS cells for a patient.


Dr. Yoshihiko Fujita
“Gene Switch: Asking cells, ‘Who Are You?'”
The iPS cell is a promising cell resource to cure many patients. We first need to purify only our target cell type from the other unwanted cell types before transplantation. I will introduce our artificial gene switch, which makes only the targeted cells light up.

-Researcher’s comment
The RNA switch is a one of the promising approach to detect and purify specific cells for medical applications. A complex gene circuit consisted of the RNA switches will work as a logic gate for selecting cells which match multiple conditions, like programming language or electrical circuit. Thus, we think that designing the artificial circuits is not only a scientific challenge but also an important technology for purifying safe transplantable cells from a lot of types of cells generated from iPS cells.