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NSF awards stem cell bio-manufacturing research and education program to Georgia Tech
Date:8/16/2010

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $3 million to the Georgia Institute of Technology to fund a unique research program on stem cell bio-manufacturing. The program is specifically focused on developing engineering methods for stem cell production, in order to meet the anticipated demand for stem cells. The award comes through the NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program, which supports innovation in graduate education in fields that cross academic disciplines and have broad societal impact.

While stem cell research is on the verge of broadly impacting many elements of the medical field -- regenerative medicine, drug discovery and development, cell-based diagnostics and cancer -- the bio-process engineering that will be required to manufacture sufficient quantities of functional stem cells for these diagnostic and therapeutic purposes has not been rigorously explored.

"Successfully integrating knowledge of stem cell biology with bioprocess engineering and process development into single individuals is the challenging goal of this program," said Todd McDevitt, an associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University and a Petit Faculty Fellow in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences at Georgia Tech.

McDevitt is leading the IGERT with Robert M. Nerem, professor emeritus of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Nerem is also director of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center (GTEC) for Regenerative Medicine, which will administer this award.

Ph.D. students funded by Georgia Tech's stem cell bio-manufacturing IGERT will receive interdisciplinary educational training in the biology, engineering, enabling technologies, commercialization and public policy related to stem cells. Their research efforts will focus on developing innovative engineering approaches to brid
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Contact: Abby Vogel Robinson
abby@innovate.gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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