Background of the proposed Summer Course
Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. Globally, there are over 900 million people aged over 65 (12.0% of the world population). By 2030, over 30% of the Hong Kong population will be over 65 and the estimated incidence of osteoporosis will be one in three women over 50 and one in five men over 65. Osteoarthritis (OA) and tendinopathies with chronic pain will affect 30% of the population of Hong Kong. The estimated healthcare and related social costs will be about HK$100 billion per year in 2030, which is a huge financial burden to Hong Kong. All of these conditions are associated with reduced healing/regenerative potentials. Regenerative medicine is an emerging discipline using cells, biological factors and tissue engineering techniques to enhance regeneration potential, which provides a new dimension for the treatment of these disabling disorders and will transform clinical practice.
Mainstream research centres on running research projects to control and regulate the production of therapeutically-relevant cell types from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) towards osteogenic, chondrogenic and tenogenic lineages; to optimize cell expansion and differentiation protocols; to explore novel biomaterials for stem cell delivery; to validate the efficacy of stem cell therapy in animal models of osteoporotic fracture, OA and tendinopathies; and to develop good clinical practice (GCP) for stem cell therapy and establish a stem cell bank with good manufacture practice (GMP) laboratory facilities for clinical applications. Hence, it is important to teach the principles of stem cell biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to postgraduate students and inspire them with the state-of-the-art research findings and clinical applications.
This summer course is designed to teach the students the fundamentals of stem cell biology, their applications in regenerative medicine using musculoskeletal disorders as examples. The faculty team has a unique strength of expertise and track record: all the lecturers are active and world-renowned researchers in the field of stem cell biology, developmental biology and tissue engineering; we will teach the established stem cell culture methods and demonstrate the facilities including a GMP stem cells culture facilities to students how the stem cells are prepared, cultured, identified and used for clinical applications.
Objective(s) of summer course
Goal 1: To understand the concept of stem cells, their sources, identification methods.
Goal 2: To learn the difference and new development in adult, embryonic and induced stem cells.
Goal 3: To learn the factors that control stem cell fate and functions.
Goal 4: To understand the concepts of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Goal 5: To learn new development of developmental biology and regenerative medicine.
The course is partially laboratory and classroom based.