Takanori Takebe is a Director of Commercial Innovation in Center for Stem Cell & Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM) (2017-), and Assistant Professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (2015-). He is also Professor at Institute of Research at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) (2018-), and the founding director, Communication Design Center, Yokohama City University (2018-), and Principal Investigator at the Takeda-CiRA joint program (2016-). After spending time as a surgical intern at the one of the world’s leading liver transplant center in 2010, he is highly motivated to find alternative approaches to traditional transplantation as he met many patients who were terminal but due to long waiting lists, were unlikely to be recipients of life-saving donor organs. Therefore, after completed by MD degree at 2011, he focused on patient-centered stem cell research, wherein he led a history of innovation for engineering complex hepato-biliary-pancreatic organoids from human stem cells for advancing the study of disease modeling, drug development and transplantation. He was honored with the Robertson Investigator Award, from the New York Stem Cell Foundation and also on the board of directors for International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).
Generation of hepato-biliary-pancreatic organoid from human pluripotent stem cells
Organoids are multicellular structures that can be derived from adult organs or pluripotent stem cells. Early versions of organoids range from simple epithelial structures to complex, disorganized tissues with large cellular diversity. The current challenge is to engineer cellular complexity into organoids in a controlled manner that results in organized assembly and acquisition of tissue function. These efforts have relied on studies of organ assembly during embryonic development and have resulted in development of organoids with multilayer tissue complexity and higher order functions. For example, we show that antero-posterior interactions recapitulate the foregut and the midgut boundary in vitro, modeling the inter-coordinated specification and invagination of the human hepato-biliary-pancreatic system from human pluripotent stem cells. Coupled with patient-derived stem cells, my group studied the mechanisms of human hepatic diseases that includes viral hepatitis, steatohepatitis, recently extended to drug induced liver injury, wherein organoid modelled remarkable correlation between the clinical phenotype and genotype. Here I will summarize the frontiers of organoid research, and discuss its promise and impact to elucidate personalized disease mechanisms and understand drug reactions in humans, realizing “My Medicine” applications.