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Mount Sinai leads unprecedented, NIH-supported attempt to discover rules for assembling human tissue
Date:9/23/2009

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and two other academic institutions have received federal funding to systematically assemble functional human kidney tissue from tissue modeled on a computer. If successful, the researchwhich ties together several emerging technologies including virtual tissue modeling and nanofabricationcould lead to a more predictable way for researchers to engineer tissue outside the body and, consequently, to screen for new drugs.

To fund the project, called Dynamics Underlying Tissue Integrity, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a five-year, $6-million grant from its Transformative Research Projects (T-R01) program. T-R01 is a new program designed to support exceptionally innovative research initiatives whose anticipated outcomes have a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and/or behavioral research. T-R01 awardees42 total this yearreceive part of their funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The leader for this multi-principal investigator project, Ravi Iyengar, PhD, Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Institute (ETI) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said creation of a device for assembling tissue will require his team to solve a problem that has existed since pathologists first began examining human cells under microscopes.

"Pathologists typically characterize disease in patients by studying the shape of cells and tissues, and their diagnosis has always been largely empirical," said Dr. Iyengar, who is also Dorothy H. and Lewis Rosenstiel Professor and Chair, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Professor of Oncological Sciences and Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "No one knows why cell shapes change or the rules by which tissues are organized. We want to start getting a handle on this by studying the kidney, and doing that will require the collaboration of several different disciplines."

The scientists plan to fo
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
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The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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