An senior surgeon in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, St. Francis Medical Center, Dr. Mark J. Holterman has nearly 30 years of experience in his field. An experienced researcher, Mark J. Holterman, M.D., has an interest in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies.
Stem cells are the cells from which all other cells originate. Their potential to develop into multiple types of cells has fueled years of research into possible applications in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Stem cells share three common properties:
-They can divide and renew themselves.
-They are unspecialized cells.
-They can change into specialized cells.
Embryonic stem cells are stem cells derived from an embryo between three and five days old. Dr Holterman does not use embryonic cells in his work.
Adult stem cells, or somatic stem cells, continue to show great potential. Found in tissues of the brain, bone marrow, skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, teeth, heart, gut and liver, as well as elsewhere in the body, their primary role is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found. Until they are needed, they can remain undivided for long periods of time.