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$3.2M for Rutgers to apply biology, engineering, physical sciences toward stem cells
Date:8/19/2008

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Rutgers University has received a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to apply engineering, physical science and mathematical disciplines to stem cell research. In funding 70 doctoral fellowships, the program can equip experts in fields such as cell and molecular biology, computational modeling and biomaterials to move stem-cell breakthroughs from the biology lab into practical and commercially viable therapies.

NSF awarded the five-year grant as part of its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, which supports scientists and engineers pursuing doctorates in fields that cross academic disciplines and have broad societal impact. IGERT programs also support training for underrepresented minorities to enhance diversity in the science and engineering workforce. This is the fourth IGERT grant that the NSF has awarded Rutgers over the past five years, and notably the first NSF-supported training program nationally on stem cells.

"Despite the attention that stem cell research has received, most of the work has been restricted to biological approaches," said Prabhas Moghe, lead scientist in Rutgers' IGERT program. Moghe is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "For those discoveries to go from the test tube into treatments that heal injuries and cure diseases, we will need to equip a broad range of scientists and engineers with stem cell knowledge and expertise."

Moghe explained that the grant will train scientists to probe the genetics of stem cells and capture images of their molecular makeup. It will also prepare biotechnologists to grow stem cells on engineered materials and find ways to introduce stem cells into living tissues. Work funded by the NSF grant will involve adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells in the approved federal
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Contact: Carl Blesch
cblesch@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x616
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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