Welcome to the Centre for Stem Cell Research


       UTAR  Centre for Stem Cell Research, or CSCR in short, was established on 1st May 2011. The CSCR secretariat is presently associated with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). In line with the government’s mission to strengthen research activities and be more involved in the development of the nation and the region, the Centre is established to encourage all academic staff and graduate students to contribute towards a vibrant research culture and nation building.

    The Centre aims to promote multi-disciplinary stem cell research activities from the advancement of knowledge on the mechanisms of cellular reprogramming and stem cell differentiation to the translation of basic research findings into clinical benefits and improvement in the quality of healthcare in Malaysia. The Centre also collaborates with the community, industry and the government to provide innovative solutions and to facilitate knowledge transfer.

Message by the Chairman

Prof. Alan Ong Han Kiat

          Good health and wellbeing as well as the accessibility to advance and modern health care services are essential needs for a meaningful and sustainable life.  Listed as one of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, good health and wellbeing is ever more reachable with the advancement of medical science and technology, notably in stem cell research and its applications.  Here, at the Centre of Stem Cell Research (CSCR), UTAR, we focus our research on the fundamental science and applications of adult stem cells; found throughout the body such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) (generated in the lab via reprogramming of terminal cell types to its primitive pluripotent state using transcription factors), a method discovered by Yamanaka and Co. in 2006 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012.  MSC is known not only for its differentiation capacity into mesoderm lineage cells but also its therapeutic potential in recruiting cells for repair of damaged tissues.  iPSCs on the other hand, have the ability to renew itself and differentiate into other specialised cells which makes it extremely useful in regenerative medicine.  Our centre is also very much involved in cancer stem cells (CSC) research especially in the establishment of biomarkers for cancer mechanisms and management via miRNA and circular RNA profiling.   With existing and enabling technologies such as Bioinformatics, Artificial intelligence and Big data analytics, our centre is constantly engaged with current and are in search of new strategic collaborations in establishing opportunities in fundamental research on and application of tissue repair, disease modelling and drug screening, cell based therapy, bioengineering and upscaling of stem cells as well as in the development of clinical grade iPSCs, therapeutic potential extracellular vesicles (exosomes) and Biobanking of iPSCs.   Our centre is poised to target the potential of stem cell research and development towards a more effective personalised touch on the complex human condition to contribute towards a more sustainable and meaningful quality of life for all.