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Liisa Kanninen

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, Harvard University
What is stem cell treatment? How can a patient be cured by using cells from their own body?

What exactly is stem cell treatment?

Not all illnesses can be cured using traditional medicine. The use of stem cells can help a patient when the body has been damaged due to an illness or an accident. How can the patient’s own cells construct new building blocks for the body?

One of the most remarkable achievements of the 21st century medical research is the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (Nobel 2012) which have revolutionized the potential of stem cells. In the future, it is possible to take any healthy cells from the body, make them into stem cells in the laboratory and use them to help in shortage of cells.

In her PHD, Liisa Kanninen researched how a person's stem cells can be used to construct a small sized liver. In the fall she will begin work in a research group at Harvard University, where she will continue her research about curing patients with illnesses such as leukemia with the help of the patient's own cells.