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BD Biosciences Announces Winners of Research Grant Program
Date:8/29/2011

hey are rare and usually intermingled with other cells within the colon.  Dr. Dalerba hopes to gain insight into which genes are uniquely expressed by stem cells, which markers can be used to purify them, and which factors control the cells' ability to self-renew and differentiate into more specialized cells.
  • Carla Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, investigates lung stem cells. Very little is known about these cells or how to identify them in lung tissue. Dr. Kim plans to co-culture lung stem cells with lung endothelial cells, rather than more conventional cultured embryonic fibroblasts. Endothelial cells are one of the most common cells in the lung, and are believed to provide a more natural environment for expanding lung stem cell populations. Similarly, she expects to culture lung stem cells using fibrogenic/adipogenic progenitor cells, which give rise to lung fibroblasts and perhaps fat cells. Dr. Kim will characterize lung stem cells expanded in this manner. Eventually, these cells may play a role in treating lung diseases.

  • Majlinda Lako, Ph.D., Professor of Stem Cell Science at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, studies human pluripotent stem cells and their differentiation into retinal photoreceptor and retinal pigmented epithelial cells essential for vision. Prof. Lako's group has developed an efficient culture method for quantitatively transforming human pluripotent stem cells into the three principal retinal cells: rods, cones, and retinal pigmented epithelium. One goal of her research is to grow a fully organized and functional human retina in vitro using embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Tissues produced in this manner could serve as disease models, drug screening substrates, and perhaps eventually transplant material.

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