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The activity of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine ”Stefano Ferrari” (CMR) of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia is focused on advanced therapies for cell and gene therapy and basic and translational research on epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells.


Clinical stage

Autologous cultures of limbal stem cells are currently used for corneal regeneration and restoration of visual acuity in patients with severe corneal chemical and thermal burns associated to total unilateral or severe bilateral limbal stem cells deficiency. Such cultures obtained the designation of orphan medicinal product by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Pre-clinical development stage

Definition of experimental and clinical protocols aimed at clinical application of:

  • epidermal stem cells in different cutaneous pathologies;

  • limbal stem cells in different pathologies of the ocular surface;

  • stem cells of conjunctival, urethral and buccal epithelia in traumatic destruction of the conjunctival epithelium, dry-eye Syndrome,

  • posterior hypospadias, recurring urethral stenosis, reconstructive surgery of of  blindness due to bilateral ocular surface damage;

  • stem cells of respiratory epithelia for the reconstruction of upper respiratory tract.


Clinical stage

Ongoing Phase I/II clinical trials for ex-vivo gene therapy of laminin 5-dependent Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Pre-clinical development stage

Definition of experimental and clinical protocols for ex-vivo gene therapy of laminin 5-dependent and Collagen XVII-dependent Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa and Collagen VII-dependent Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa by new generation SIN-retroviral vectors and/or homologous recombination technology.


  • culture and functional characterization of epithelial stem cells (epidermis, cornea, conjunctiva, urethra and oral mucosa) and hematopoietic stem cells;
  • studies of molecular mechanisms regulating self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of squamous epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells by conventional methods integrated with genomic (genotyping and next generation sequencing), epigenomic and transcriptomic technologies;
  • functional and molecular characterization of leukemia stem cells.