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Cypriot doctor to present groundbreaking transplant work

By Evie Andreou

THE creation of new kidneys from stem cells, a new development in the medical world, which could solve the problem of a shortage of transplant organs will be presented by Dr Christodoulos Xinaris, on Monday March 2 in Nicosia.

Xinaris, a Senior Researcher at the Lab of Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Mario Negri Institute of the Pharmacological Research of Bergamo in Italy, and his team had announced in 2012 that they had managed to construct ‘organoids’ that could be integrated into a living animal and carry out kidney function including blood filtering and molecule re-absorption.

The team had soaked the organoids in a solution containing molecules that promote blood vessel formation, and injected the molecules into the recipient animals after the organoids were implanted below the kidneys. The organoids continued to mature and were viable for three to four weeks after implantation.

Xinaris received in Cyprus the ‘Scientist of the Year Award 2012’ for his discovery.

The creation of new kidneys from stem cells either from the patient himself or other sources could help improve, even save the lives of patients with long term renal disease, as there is a serious shortage of kidney donors. The condition affects five to seven per cent of the population worldwide.

Xinaris will discuss various methods with emphasis on the regeneration of the kidney, and explain how they could be employed to generate patient-specific organs from in vitro expanded cells, an ability that could potentially solve the problem of finding compatible donor organs.

During the lecture, he will explain in a simple and accessible way, how this effort began, where things stand today and how far they need to go to reach the stage of creating new kidneys to suit the needs of each individual patient.

He will also discuss the most important experimental approaches and the progress achieved for future applications, and he will answer questions from the audience.

Xinaris has authored and co-authored a number of articles, reviews, and books and he has been awarded several studentships and prizes throughout his career.

He is also co-founder and managing director of Bio-Renovo Ltd, a regenerative medicine company, aiming to develop breakthrough therapies for patients suffering from kidney failure.

The lecture, which is under the auspices of Health Minister Dr Philippos Patsalis, is being organised by the Rotary Club of Nicosia-ASPELIA, within the framework of its social outreach work.

It will be held at the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus, in Phaneromeni, Nicosia at 7.30pm.
The lecture will be delivered in Greek, entrance is free and all are welcome.

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