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NTU Center for Developmental Biology and Regeneration Medicine Inaugurated

As discussed in the 2627th meeting of the Executive Council on June 15th,then confirmed in the 2628th meeting of the Council on June 22nd, the National Taiwan University passed the resolution to establish a “Center for Developmental Biology and Regeneration Medicine”, and invited academician Chen-Ming Chuong as the Honorary Chairman and Professor Wei-Shung Yang as its first Director. On July 10th, 2010, the Center held an inauguration ceremony in the first meeting room of the Children’s Hospital. Besides academician Chen-Ming Chuong, other attendees included Vice President of NTU George Tai-Jan Chen, Dr. Pan chyr Yang, Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Hong Nerng Ho, Vice Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Bao-Ji Chen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bio-resources, Dr. Chien C. Chang, Director of the Institute of Applied Mechanics, Dr. Yu-Shih Yang, Head of the Department of Obstetrics,

Dr. Mei-Hwei Chang, Professor of the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Fong-Jou Hsieh, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, etc., altogether over 60 people participated enthusiastically in the ceremony, and the first meeting room was jam-packed. During the inauguration ceremony, in addition to the encouragement and support given by Vice President George Tai-Jan Chen, Dean Pang-chyr Yang and Dean Bao-Ji Chen, academician Chen-Ming Chuong also gave a wonderful speech titled “My Interactions with Nature/Science and the Choice of Our Future Research Direction.”

In recent years, stem cell research and regeneration medicine develop rigorously in Taiwan. The results of these studies have great impact on the technological development of tissue reconstruction and artificial organs. Tissue reconstruction basically relies on the studies of developmental biology, while developmental biology and regeneration medicine are two sides of the same coin. Regeneration medicine aims at understanding the multiple interactions among the genes, the transmission of molecular signals and the biometrix in the process of the formation of an organ. In sum, stem cell research and regeneration medicine have led many people to have high expectations about the solution of human diseases.

Presently stem cell research is being heatedly conducted in Taiwan, especially with regard to how to cultivate stem cells and how to let the cultivated stem cells differentiate into the body cells we want, including nerve cells, cartilage cells, liver cells, lung epithelial cells, etc. So far Taiwan has accumulated considerable amount of research results. In order to effectively integrate the afore-mentioned clinical research results, and make the level of Taiwan’s research in development biology and regeneration medicine internationally competitive, we really need to establish a relevant integrated research center. The National Taiwan University occupies the leading position in Taiwan in terms of development biology and regeneration medicine research, therefore, it behooves us to play an active role in integrating and enhancing the research in these two fields.

In order to achieve the maximum effectiveness of integration, to promote mutual understanding among team members and to establish a research team for the purpose of seeking grants, National Taiwan University recently recruited research personnel in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, developmental biology and regeneration medicine to form the “NTU Developmental Biology and Regeneration Research Group.” Members of this research group meet on a regular basis, with a view toward establishing a talent pool for researchers in different disciplines, and integrating the relevant courses and curricula in developmental biology and regeneration medicine, so that NTU’s involvement in developmental biology and regeneration medicine can be actively promoted.

The members of the research group come from various colleges (The College of Life Sciences, the College of Agriculture and Bio-resources, The College of Medicine, The College of Engineering, and The College of Science)and also from NTU Hospital. Their routine activity is a theme report which takes place once every month. So far, Dr. Nai-Chen Cheng, a plastic surgeon from NTU Hospital is slated to report on “How to build a cartilage tissue from adipose stem cells?” Dr. Chun-che Chang, an Associate Professor from the Department of Entomology will speak on “Germ Cell Specification of Aphids and the Mechanism for Body Axis Formation;” Dr.J.S. Lin from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering will report on “ Hair Follicle Regeneration;”Professor Hsin Yu Lee will talk about “LPA Regulation of Lymphatic Vessel Development”; and Professor Thai-Yen Ling from The Institute of Pharmacology will speak on “Lung Stem Cell Applications.” Other speakers have been arranged, and the Center will keep our readers informed.

Chinese version