Our researchers study how stem cells function, regenerate, and differentiate. We use those insights to model diseases and find ways to repair, rebuild, and replace broken body systems.
How do we approach science?
To achieve our mission of turning cells and tissues into medicines, the IRM encourages collaborations across different fields of biology, engineering, and medicine. Our researchers study life from the early embryo to old age to understand how stem cells interpret signals and “make decisions” that result in healthy tissues. Armed with this information, IRM scientists and engineers are creating strategies for new therapies, diagnostics, and medical devices.
Programs of Emphasis
Solving challenges in regenerative science and medicine takes teamwork. The IRM sponsors five standing programs to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations focused on key cells types and body systems:
- Epithelial Stem Cells– The cells that give rise to the skin, intestines, cornea, hair follicles, and respiratory tract
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells– The progenitors of blood and immune cells
- Neurodevelopment & Regeneration– Cells that develop into the nervous system and sustain it in adulthood
- Musculoskeletal Regeneration– Bones, muscles, cartilage, and tendons
- Reproductive Medicine– Germ cells and their role in fertility and assisted reproductive technologies
Our researchers are always exploring new ideas that cross between or go beyond our core programs. This diversity enriches our IRM community and pushes our science in exciting directions. Some examples include:
- Combining imaging techniques and CRISPR to track COVID-19 infection in cells
- Creating pateint-derived organoids and engineering organs-on-chips for improved testing and diagnostics
- Using advanced technologies to examine single cells to learn how they choose their fates
To help kindle these sparks, we offers grants for innovative ideas and new collaborations. If you’re a Penn, CHOP, or Wistar researcher interested in collaborating with IRM faculty or applying for funding opportunities, please join us.