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36 new stem cell projects to share $10.4M from state

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has recommended funding 36 new projects with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s $10.4 million budget.

After the commission reviewed 180 applications, the board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corp. approved the recommendations Wednesday. The commission gave preference to proposals that focused on advancing regenerative medicine by selecting research that addressed osteoporosis, traumatic brain injuries, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, DNA damage, intestinal tissue generation, clinical drug screenings, and other debilitating and costly medical conditions.

The commission also encouraged collaborations during this funding cycle, resulting in 10 awardees proposing to work with private biotech companies.

In a pilot program, two Stem Cell Research Fund-backed researchers will collaborate with scientists funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. These two projects, studying red blood cell production and a type of brain injury known as traumatic axonal injuries, will leverage the state’s investment in stem cell research with more than $7 million.

This year’s awards include nine Investigator-Initiated Research Grants, which provide up to $200,000 of direct costs per year, for up to three years, to investigators with preliminary data to support their hypothesis.

Also, 13 Exploratory Research Grants will provide up to $100,000 of direct costs per year, for up to two years, to new stem cell researchers for new approaches, mechanisms or models that may differ from current thinking in the field or include new hypotheses that have little or no preliminary data.

In addition, 14 Post-Doctoral Fellowship Research Grants will provide up to $55,000 per year, for up to two years, including direct and indirect costs and fringe benefits.

Each grant awarded by the commission is contingent on the principal investigators obtaining ethical approvals to conduct the specified research, as well as a signed agreement with the Maryland Technology Development Corp. that describes the scope of the project, requirements for sharing any cell lines developed with the funding, and a commitment to publish results.

The awardees are as follows:

• Xu Cao, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Stem Cell Recruitment in Anabolic versus Antiresorptive Osteoporosis Therapy;”

• Linzhao Cheng, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and MaxCyte Inc., “Red Blood Cell Production from Human IPS Cells of Transfusion-Dependent Patients;”

• Mihoko Kai, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Direct Generation of Human Dopaminergic Neurons By Defined Factors;”

• Vassilis Koliatsos, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, “Stem Cell Therapies in Animal Models of Traumatic Axonal Injury;”

• Dara Kraitchman, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Surgivision Inc., “Single Cell Microencapsulation for Ischemic Heart Disease Therapy;”

• John Lattera, Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kenny Krieger Inc., “Regulation of Neural and Neoplastic Stem Cells by Kruppel-like Transcription Factors;”

• Feyruz Rassool, University of Maryland, Baltimore, “Remodeling the DNA Damage Response in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells;”

• Piotr Walczak, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Q Therapeutics, “Intra-arterial Targeted Delivery of Stem Cells to Brain Lesions Under MRI Monitoring;”

• Elias Zambidis, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Life Technologies Inc., “Clinical-Grade CD34-iPSC for Hematologic and Cardiac Therapies;

• Mary Armanios, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Telomerase in Ex Vivo Expanded Hematopoietic Stem Cells;”

• Visar Belegu, Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kenny Krieger Inc., “Differentiation of Fibroblast-Derived Induced Pluripotent Cells into Oligodendrocytes for Treatment of Neurological Disorders;”

• Amy Belton, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “The Role of Hmga1 in Intestinal Stem Cells & The Generation Gut-Like Tissue;”

• Robert Brodsky, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “A Preclinical Model of Acquired Aplastic Anemia Using Human iPSCs;”

• Kan Cao, University of Maryland, College Park, “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as Models of Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome;”

• Raghothama Chaerkady, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Signaling Mechanisms Specifying Oligodendrocyte Development;”

• Xiaochum Chen, University of Maryland, Baltimore, “Microrna Regulators of Ex Vivo Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Expansion;”

• Stephen Desiderio, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Stromal Hedgehog Signaling In B Lymphoid Differentiation from Human ASCs;”

• Shao Du, University of Maryland, Baltimore, “Reprogramming Of Satellite Cells & Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells For Muscle Repair;”

• Koko Ishizuka, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Alternation in Neural Fate in Schizophrenia;”

• Saul Sharkis, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Quality Biological Inc., “Human Stem Repair of Epithelial Tissue;”

• Paul Yarowski, University of Maryland, Baltimore, “Stem Cell Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury;”

• Zhaohui Ye, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Clinical Drug Screening Using Patient Specific Human iPSCs;”

• Dian Arifin, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Pearl Lifescience Partners LLC, “Encapsulation Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells For Improved Islet Cell Therapy;

• Williamt Brandt, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Characterizing Notch Signaling in Bladder Cancer Stem Cells;”

• Namshik Kim, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Understanding The Role of CYFIP1 Deletion/Duplication in Schizophrenia & Austim;”

• Julien Maruotti, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “A High Content Screen for Small Molecules that Promote Stem Cell differentiation into Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells for Potential Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Other Retinal Degenerations;”

• Tammy Morrish, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Telomere Recombination Mechanisms in Mesenchymal Stem Cells;”

• Amanda Phillips, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Focal Transplantation of Human Neural Stem Cell-Derived Astrocytes Isolated From Als Patients into the Rat Spinal Cord;”

• Prakash RAth, Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger Inc., “Modulating HGF/c-Met Signaling in Human Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells;”

• Sandeep Shah, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Life Technologies Inc., “HMGA Proteins in Stem Cell Survival and Induced Pluripotency;”

• Shobana Shanmugasundaram, University of Maryland, Baltimore in collaboration with Biosurface Engineering Technologies Inc., “Optimization of the 3D Scaffolds with Enzyme and Peptide for Osteogenic Differentiation in Stem Cells;”

• Yang Song, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Innovative Biosensors Inc., “Signals Cooperating with RUNX1 to Specify Adult HSC from hESC.”

• Juan Song, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in collaboration with Life Technologies Inc., “Understanding the Mechanisms of a Schizophrenia Susceptibility Gene Disc1 in Regulating Synapse Development Using Patient-Derived iPSCs;”

• Yijing Su, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Roles of Tet Proteins in Regulating DNA Demethylation And Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells And Neural Progenitors;”

• Chiaochun Joanne Wang, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Microvasculature Mimicking Microfluidics for High-Throughput Screening of Targeted and MR Trackable Stem Cells;”

• Shuming Zhang, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Role of Electrical Stimulation on Differentiation of Human iPS Cells and iPS-Derived Neural Crest Stem Cells.”

One comment

  1. Severe osteoarthritis in neck and back. Have 2 fusions in my neck, and degeneration above and below fusion. Stiffness, pain in neck and lower back. Nothing has helped and I am extremely upset. I am69 and love to be active with my grandcildren.
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    Eleanor Amos
    410-489-7301

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