Navigation Links
Pitt researchers net $5 million from NIH to explore better ways to grow cells for regenerative medicine
Date:9/25/2009

PITTSBURGHRegenerative medicine researchers at the University of Pittsburgh received two grants totaling more than $5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore new methods for cultivating replacement cells from existing tissues and organs.

A $2.9 million, five-year Transformative R01 (T-R01) grant presented to Eric Lagasse, a professor of pathology in Pitt's School of Medicine and a researcher in Pitt and UPMC's jointly operated McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will support the development of a novel concept: using the body's many lymph nodes as sites for growing replacement cells for other tissues and organs, in essence using them as bioreactors to grow cells within the living body. Ipsita Banerjee, a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering and a McGowan faculty member, received a $2.2 million, five-year New Innovator award to unravel how embryonic stem cells develop into mature cells and possible techniques for influencing their growth to suit specific organs.

The grants were presented as part of the 2009 NIH Director's High-Risk Research Awards, a cluster of five-year grants presented to researchers exploring ideas with the potential to advance their fields and medical treatment. On Sept. 24, the NIH announced 115 awards totaling $348 million, including 42 T-R01 Awards, 18 Pioneer Awards, and 55 New Innovator Awards for early-stage investigators. This marks the inaugural year for the T-R01 grantswhich support innovative and high-risk projects that could profoundly impact biomedical research and medical treatmentand also is a record year for the number of New Innovator and Pioneer Awards bestowed. Fellow New Innovator and T-R01 recipients include researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Lagasse's work focuses on lymph nodes, which are important in responses to bacterial and viral infection and are found throughout the body. Even spread out, the total mass of the nodes makes them a feasible place to grow liver cells, for example, which must also be available in abundance and with ample blood flow to provide life-sustaining hepatic function, Lagasse said. His team will explore growing liver and other tissues in such "ectopic" sites, meaning outside of where it would normally reside. The same principle of using lymph nodes as a site for ectopic cell factories might work for replacing pancreas cells that make insulin for patients with diabetes or immune system T-cells for patients who have AIDS and other diseases of immunologic-impairment.

"Our regenerative medicine approach for healing damaged tissues and organs might not have moved forward without this new grant concept," Lagasse noted. "This funding supports assessment and rapid translation from the bench to the bedside of nontraditional treatments."

Banerjee will investigate the process through which embryonic stem cells become mature, organ-specific cells and how scientists can control that development. Using a bottom-up approach, Banerjee will cultivate stem cells into pancreatic cells, noting molecular-level information that could be integrated into dictating cell development, such as the influence of environmental factors and gene and protein networks.

"I want to take a completely different approach to addressing the complex process of cell development, which will potentially advance our understanding of regenerative medicine and stem cell bioengineering as a whole," Banerjee said.

Two Pitt researchers have received NIH Director's awards in the past. In 2007, Eva Szigethy, of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Pitt, received a New Innovators grant to use inflammatory bowel disease as a model for investigating the interactions between the brain, gut, and immune system in determining how adolescents cope with chronic illness.

The following year, Barry London, a Pitt professor of medicine, was presented with a Pioneer Award to develop new techniques to image electrical activity of the heart and identify those at risk of sudden cardiac death.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
6. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
8. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
9. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
10. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
11. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2017)... Feb 10, 2017 Research and ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to ... ... Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as ... detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 The biometrics market ... the confluence of organizations, desires to better authenticate ... systems (password and challenge questions), biometrics is quickly ... systems. The market is driven by use cases, ... consumer and enterprise uses cases, with consumer-facing use ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... 2017 According to Acuity Market Intelligence, ... authorities to continue to embrace biometric and digital ... Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and 1436 Automated ... than 163 ports of entry across the globe. ... a combined CAGR of 37%. APC Kiosks reached ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... Dublin - Research and Markets has announced ... Type, By Application, By End User, By Region, By Country: Opportunities ... ... is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 11.33% during 2016-2021. ... protection market is driven by the surging demand for less toxic ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... -- Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... the ability of the Aethlon Hemopurifier® to capture latent ... immune-suppressed sepsis patients and also contribute to organ rejection ... the study was to validate the in vitro ... Herpes Simplex virus 1 (HSV1) by the Hemopurifier®. The ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... announced the addition of Tom Perkins as European director. Operating from Pennside’s Zurich ... to Pennside. , Perkins joins Pennside after more than a decade with ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... N.C., Feb. 22, 2017  United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: ... results for the fourth quarter and year ended ... results reflect continued growth as net revenues reached ... Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics, Chairman and Chief ... to develop and advance our growing product pipeline, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: