Researchers whose preliminary data promised greater discoveries were awarded Investigator-Initiated grants. Jeff Bulte, Ph.D., professor of radiology, biomedical engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the Institute for Cell Engineering, hopes to develop a cell therapy for treatment of type 1 diabetes an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system kills the insulin-producing cells that help regulate blood sugar. By developing cloaked stem and insulin-producing cells that can evade immune system detection, Bulte and his team hope to replace damaged cells and restore insulin levels in patients.
Grants were awarded to:
- Bulte, for his project "Co-Encapsulation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Islet Cells for Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes"
- Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for Cell Engineering, for his project "Generation and Characterization of Isogenic Parkinson's Disease and Control iPS Cells"
- Jennifer Elisseeff, Ph.D., Jules Stein Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center, in collaboration with Tissue Banks International Inc. & CIRM, for her project "ECM-Based Materials for Stem Cell Differentiation and Bone Repair"
- Gabsang Lee, D.V.M., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience, in collaboration with Life Technologies Inc., for his project "Derivation of Functional Nociceptive Neurons From hESC and Its Application to Pain-Disorder Human iPSC"
- Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience, for her project "Toward Correction of Neurodevelopmental Defects of Neurons Derived from Patients with Mental Disorders"
- Zack Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, for his project "Vascular Progenitor Cell Generation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (hPSC) for Peripheral Vascular Diseases"
Several Johns Hopkins investigators were awarded Exploratory grants for researchers either new to the stem cell field or with untested but promising new ideas. Miroslaw Janowski , M.D., Ph.D., a research associate in radiology, plans to develop a stroke treatment by guiding newly introduced brain cells with magnets through blood vessels to the site of injury.
Exploratory grants were awarded to:
- Gerald Brandacher, M.D., scientific director of the Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Program, for his project "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPS) Derived Schwann Cells to Enhance Functional Recovery Following Nerve Injury and Limb Allotransplantation"
- M. Valeria Canto-Soler, Ph.D., director of the Retinal Degeneration Research Center in Ophthalmology, for her project "Development of 3D-Culture Systems of Human iPSC Derived-Retinal Cells for Clinical Applications"
- Janowski, for his project in collaboration with Q Therapeutics Inc. on "Magnet-Navigated Targeting of Myelin Producing Cells to the Stroke Via Intraventricular Route in a Large Animal Model"
- Hongkai Ji, Ph.D., assistant professor of biostatistics at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, for his project "Global Prediction of Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Lineage Specific Neuronal Differentiation"
- Baktiar Karim, B.V.M.S., Ph.D., assistant professor in molecular and comparative pathobiology, for his project "CD133: A Master Regulator of Intestinal Differentiation and Stem Cell Regeneration in Crohn's Disease"
- Chulan Kwon, Ph.D., assistant professor of cardiology, for his project "Membrane Notch Control of Human Cardiovascular Progenitors"
- Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D., the William R. Brody Professor of Radiology, for his project "New ALDH Based Imaging Agents for Stem Cells"
- Sivaprakash Ramalingam, Ph.D., M.S., a postdoctoral fellow in environmental health sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, for his project "Functional Correction of hiPSCs with Homozygous Sickle Cell Disease Mutation Using Engineered ZFNs/TALENs"
- Antony Rosen, M.D., the Mary Betty Stevens Professor of Medicine and director of rheumatology, for his project "Using hESCs to Define Novel Scleroderma Autoantigens in Stem Cells and Vascular Progenitors"
- Arun Venkatesan, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, for his project "Novel Human iPSC-Based Model of Axon Degeneration In Multiple Sclerosis"
Postdoctoral trainees also will receive funding for research projects. A fellow in biomedical engineering, Pinar Huri, Ph.D., will use her award to develop bone grafts with blood vessels inside made from fat tissue-derived stem cells. The grafts would be used in patients with severely damaged bone in need of reconstructive surgery.
Postdoctoral grants were awarded to:
Provided by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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