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

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

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