0937 GMT February 17, 2019
The first cloned animal in the Middle East was born in Royan Institute. Iran is one of top countries in storing umbilical cord blood.
Royan is one of the most important research institutes in Iran’s medicine sector. It has gained remarkable achievements in infertility treatment and stem cells across the Middle East.
Dr. Abdolhossein Shahverdi, who is caretaker of Royan Institute, told Iran Daily: “Royan Institute was established in 1991 as a center for conducting surgery to treat infertile couples. Given the efforts of specialists, we have expanded this institute to three research institutes and two centers for specialized infertility treatments and stem cells.
He said Iran has good young researchers, adding research costs are low in Iran.
“Since the establishment of Royan Institute, we have conducted 50 joint projects with scientists from Germany, Canada and the US. We are ready to draw foreign investment to implement other scientific projects.”
Also, many specialists from regional countries participate in training courses organized by this institute, he said.
Since Royan Institute has drawn the trust of international scientific associations and it renders affordable treatment services compared to developed nations, 500 foreign couples travel each year to Iran for infertility treatment.
He said scientific achievements can help develop Iran’s economic cycle, adding every patient who refers to Royan Institute, can generate income for tourism sector indirectly.
Freezing gametes and embryos is one of the major activities undertaken in recent years to treat infertility in developed nations, he said. This process is also used in Iran, he added.
“Ovarian tissue bank was launched at Royan Institute three years ago. Currently, 50 patients are members of this bank, all of whom are obliged to undergo chemotherapy stage.
The majority of them are married patients who should have chemotherapy treatment based on physician prescription, he said. Some of the patients are singles who have either attained puberty or haven’t, he added.
If chemotherapy continues, it may lead to destruction of gametes and embryos, he said.
He also said Royan Institute receives ovarian tissue or testicular tissue from cancer patients. After they are treated, the institute returns the tissue to them, he added.
“Some of patients who refer Royan Institute are immature and their gametes have not been formed. Therefore, this method is not useful for them.”
Shahverdi said scientists in developed nations intend to produce sperm and ovule from ovarian and testicular tissues.
Iran — as a pioneer in such research works— has managed to conduct the measure on animal sample, leading to successful results, he added.
He hoped that Iran can acquire the technology like other developed nations such as Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.
“In addition, we have managed to provide services for diagnosing diseases such as hemophilia in research section of Royan Institute. And thalassemia in cellular and molecular levels.”
He said Royan Institute has 75 permanent researchers on its staff and it also cooperates with 75 faculty members from Iran and abroad.