Updated on 12 November 2014
A large amount of effort by the South Korean government, academic, and business sectors has gone into enhancing the R&D infrastructure to support stem cell research
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To promote advances made by stem cell researchers and professionals, Thermo Fisher Scientific held a stem cell workshop in South Korea recently chaired by stem cell and iPS cell expert, Dr Nirupama (Rupa) Shevde. Around 60 scientists from universities involved in research in medicine and health care as well as professional researchers from private companies attended the session at Thermo Fisher Scientific Suseo location in Seoul.
Dr Shevde is a global customer training manager in Life Sciences solutions group at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She has extensive experience in both mouse and human pluripotent stem cell research and has served as a senior scientist and director of education at WiCell Research Institute and Morgridge Institute for Research since 2005 until July 2012. Under the scientific leadership of human embryonic stem cell pioneer, Dr James Thomson, Dr Shevde has developed a Stem Cell Training Course which has served over 800 scientists from 32 US states and 20 countries. Dr Shevde has worked with Dr Thomson's laboratory and gained expertise in the novel Essential 8 Medium, Vitronectin (VTN-N) substrate and non-integrating episomal reprogramming technology developed by Dr James Thomson and marketed by Life Technologies.
In an interview with BioSpectrum Asia, Dr Shevde shares her thought and experience on stem cell research landscape in Korea and how the country is building its capacity to excel in this field.
What has been your experience while providing workshop to Korea stem cell researchers and how is Korea progressing in building stem cell capacity?
For more than a decade, we have provided stem cell scientists around the world with technologies and products to address challenges in stem cell research. With our complete portfolio of stem cell products and services, we believe that we can contribute to maximize the research and application of stem cells in South Korea with workshops like this.
With the goal of supporting regenerative medical therapy, the global market for stem cells has grown at the average annual rate of 23.5 percent with revenues of $8.6 billion in 2005 and is expected to generate $70.4 billion in 2015, according to market reports. The market in Asia is rapidly growing and within it, the market in South Korea is growing significantly as well. For example, South Korea is leading the stem cell expansion as the first country worldwide to approve three stem cell therapy drugs.