Interview with Dr Luis Geffner

Posted Tue, Sep, 15,2015

This author interview is by Dr Luis Geffner, formerly from DaVinci Biosciences.  Dr Geffner's full paper, Stem Cells as Potential Anti-Aging Strategies and Therapies, is available for download in Cell & Tissue Transplantation & Therapy.

Please summarize for readers the content of your article
This paper shows the physiology of aging, its strong link to immune responses and inflammation, the changes that the process of aging entails and how to take advantage of harmless biological tools such as stem cells to moderate these symptoms and achieve a better quality of life.

How did you come to be involved in your area of study?
I used to work in the area of heart failure and coronary troubles. In 2001, I started to work on clinical use of stem cells in myocardiopathies. I was interested in what stem cells could do and shifted to focus on different illnesses and conditions, such as spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative diseases, and others.

What was previously known about the topic of your article?
Many aspects of aging, such as its process and immune response, were already well known. Our article proposes a new approach to deal with aging, since the use of stem cells is possibly the only non-toxic, not infectious, and non-dangerous method that can be used repeatedly, even in an outpatient setting.

How has your work in this area advanced understanding of the topic?
I always found patients´ comments shortly after being injected, no matter whether it was intravenously, intra-arterially or directly into the affected tissue, of interest. I thought that apart from what stem cells were capable of doing in terms of regenerating tissues, something else may happen. I continued my search and came to the conclusion that the answer was at our hand: the so called paracrine effect, by which one cell stimulates and exerts influence to the surrounding ones, is the key to understanding that.

What do you regard as being the most important aspect of the results reported in the article?
Aging is unavoidable. Despite all efforts it is unstoppable. Seeing the glass half full, I think people can now have a comprehensive approach to the aging process and bear in mind there are some tools that can be used to improve their quality of life.

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