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The New York Stem Cell Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to Collaborate on Stem Cell Research
Date:4/27/2010

NEW YORK and BALTIMORE, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) are establishing a collaborative program to advance the development and use of stem cells in therapies for a wide range of diseases, the organizations announced today. The program will train researchers to use stem cells and foster joint research projects.

The collaborative program will encompass training for Johns Hopkins researchers in the NYSCF laboratory in Manhattan, specific research collaborations and a NYSCF fellowship to support Johns Hopkins in its plans to bridge disciplines, technologies and facilitate cross-collaborations among Johns Hopkins investigators and the greater stem cell research community.

The announcement of the collaborative program was made by Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Dean for Research for The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions and Susan L. Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Stem Cell Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering stem cell research to advance the search for cures of the major diseases of our time.

"We are exceptionally proud to partner with The New York Stem Cell Foundation to open new avenues of collaboration," says Dr. Dang, who also serves as executive director of The Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. "This is a great opportunity to cross fertilize two rich research programs and develop new and lasting partnerships to further stem cell research."

"This is a wonderful opportunity to work with world class researchers at Johns Hopkins to use stem cells to cure the terrible diseases that affect us all," said Ms. Solomon. "We look forward to a very long, active and productive relationship between our two institutions."

Collaborative projects will include:

Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Workshops to provide training in state-of-the-art stem cell technologies for John Hopkins students, fellows and faculty at the NYSCF laboratory, one of the few places in the nation offering comprehensive expertise in stem cell derivation and maintenance. The workshops permit Johns Hopkins investigators and NYSCF's Research Team, including its Fellows and other research partners, to discuss their work and explore collaborative opportunities. The first three-day workshop took place in February at the NYSCF laboratory in New York.

Production of Standardized and Quality-Controlled Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines by NYSCF staff for use in Parkinson's disease and other disorders.  Johns Hopkins researchers will provide research samples, and the NYSCF stem cell derivation team will grow more cells for them, as well as reprogram, characterize and maintain quality control of the cells.  The cell lines created will be banked in the NYSCF repository and eventually will serve as a resource for other researchers.

NYSCF Fellowship Award for a Johns Hopkins Investigator. The New York Stem Cell Foundation, which operates the largest program of post-doctoral fellowships in stem cell research in the United States, will support a fellow at Johns Hopkins whose work will enhance and strengthen the university's effort to bridge disciplines, technologies and facilitate cross-collaborations among Johns Hopkins investigators and the greater stem-cell research community.

In addition, Dr. Valina Dawson, Johns Hopkins Professor and Vice-Chair in the Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, Physiology and Cell and Molecular Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr. Chi Van Dang serve on NYSCF's Medical Advisory Board.  

Also Dr. Hongjun Song, Associate Professor of Neurology/Institute for Cell Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University, will present at NYSCF's Fifth Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference in October.

About Johns Hopkins Medicine:

From the 1889 opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, to the opening of the School of Medicine four years later, there emerged the concept of combining research, teaching and patient care. This model, the first of its kind, would lead to a national and international reputation for excellence and discovery. Today, Johns Hopkins uses one overarching name — Johns Hopkins Medicine — to identify its entire medical enterprise. This $5 billion system unites the physicians and scientists of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the health professionals and facilities that make up the broad, integrated Johns Hopkins Health System.

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering was created at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in January 2001. ICE supports and houses scientists working to understand how cells' fates are determined and to harness that information in order to select, modify and reprogram human cells. While basic research will be the hallmark of ICE science, the ultimate goal is to mold engineered human cells into therapeutic transplants for a wide range of currently devastating diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), diabetes and heart failure.  

For more information: Institute for Cell Engineering:  www.hopkins-ice.org/index.html

Stem Cell Research at Johns Hopkins: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/stem_cell_research/

About The New York Stem Cell Foundation:

Founded in 2005, The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) is dedicated to accelerating cures for the major diseases of our time through stem cell research. NYSCF opened the first privately funded stem cell laboratory in New York City, where NYSCF researchers and collaborating scientists conduct advanced stem cell research free of federal restrictions. The organization supports scientists engaged in stem cell research through the NYSCF Fellowship Program, its annual translation stem cell research conference and other symposia; runs collaborative, state-of-the-art research facilities directly focused on curing disease; and educates the public about the importance and potential benefits of stem cell research. For more information:  www.nyscf.org    


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SOURCE The New York Stem Cell Foundation
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