Navigation Links
Generation innovation: Young UC San Diego bioengineer to use NIH grant to fuel tissue engineering
Date:9/22/2008

At 30, Karen Christman, an assistant bioengineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, plans to help fuel the growing field of tissue engineering. With a new $1.5 million New Innovator Award grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Christman will be able to do just that.

The awards, announced Sept. 22, were created in 2007 to support a small number of new investigators who have exceptional creativity and propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major breakthrough on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research.

Christman will use the five-year grant to further her research in developing a novel and innovative multi-layer patterning technique that will provide step-by-step cues for cell and tissue development.

"One of my major goals is to develop differentiated cell sources," said Christman, who joined the Jacobs School faculty in 2007 after earning a Ph.D in bioengineering from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. "For example, one of the major problems with stem cells either embryonic or adult is that we can't control their fate as well as we would like to. So, if you're going to inject cells into the heart, for example, you want the cells to mainly be cardiac muscle cells. What most people have done is try to promote the cell differentiation through adding soluble factors to cell culture. Nothing has been developed that mimics how the extracellular matrix morphs over time. And, this matrix is known to play a large role in cell survival and fate."

"If you can better mimic what the cell sees inside of the body then we should be able to better control cell fate," she added. "It's basically being able to generate cell sources and trying to control cell behavior. This could be used for all sorts of regenerative medicine approaches."

Many medical researchers believe that regenerative medicine which accelerates the healing process to fully restore the health of damaged tissues and organs will help change the face of human disease. As an example of regenerative medicine, researchers expect to one day be able to use technologies derived from adult and embryonic stem cells to treat a number of diseases, including cancer, Type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injury and muscle damage.

"We're not going to have regenerative medicine treatments overnight," Christman said. "But I think in the coming decade we will be making some big strides."

Christman's expertise is the regeneration of injured and diseased cardiovascular tissue using polymer chemistry and nanotechnology to develop new biomaterials for tissue implantation and cell delivery. She is one of two UC San Diego faculty who received an NIH New Innovator Award.

Dr. Seth J. Field, an assistant professor of medicine at UC San Diego's School of Medicine, was also named a New Innovator Award winner. Field will use his grant to study a group of seven lipid signaling molecules called phosphoinositides, which are known to play critical roles in regulating cell growth and death, metabolism, and communication processes within cells. Field plans to develop a multi-pronged, systematic approach to understanding the function of lipid molecules that transmit signals within cells. Despite the importance of this molecule in diseases ranging from cardiovascular and neurologic disease to diabetes and cancer, little is known about its function.

The NIH doled out New Innovator Awards to a total of 31 young scientists across the United States.

"These highly creative researchers are tackling important scientific challenges with bold ideas and inventive technologies that promise to break through the barriers and radically shift our understanding," NIH director Elias A. Zerhouni said.

The New Innovator Awards are part of the NIH's Roadmap for Medical Research, a series of initiatives designed to address fundamental knowledge gaps, develop transformative tools and technologies, and to foster innovative approaches to complex problems. The awards are also intended to accelerate the translation of risky science and research to improvements in human health.

For young scientists like Christman, support from federal funding agencies such as the NIH is critical to boosting their careers and new fields such as bioengineering.

"In bioengineering innovation is brought about by bringing different fields together medicine, chemistry, engineering and biology," she said. "Bioengineers often create new technologies, so it's important to fund this field, which sometimes has risky science but can have big rewards for human health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrea Siedsma
asiesdma@cox.net
858-822-8099
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. ESA trains next generation of atmospheric scientists
2. Entrust Expands Relationship with Slovenia, Implements Second-generation ePassport Solution
3. Rhode Island Hospital study finds link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and neurodegeneration
4. Songbirds may hold key to advances in treatment of brain degeneration
5. Broad Institute researchers introduce next generation tool for visualizing genomic data
6. The epigenetics of increasing weight through the generations
7. Study shows single insecticide application can kill 3 cockroach generations
8. bioMETRX, Inc. Partners with Biometric Solutions, LLC to Deliver Next Generation Finger Activated Technology
9. Platinum Solutions, Inc. Teams with Lockheed Martin on Federal Bureau of Investigations Next Generation Identification Program
10. Pitt faculty receive awards to explore next-generation technologies
11. Pyramid Launches TimeTrax Bio Generation II
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Generation innovation: Young UC San Diego bioengineer to use NIH grant to fuel tissue engineering
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... for two-dimensional representations of a complex biological network, a depiction of a system ... big mess,” said Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the FebriDx® test, a ... significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by testing the body’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash can ... a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response time ... , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in your ...
Breaking Biology Technology: