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Reeve Foundation Recruits Distinguished Stem-Cell Neurobiologist - The Salk Institute's Samuel L. Pfaff, Ph.D. - to its International Research Consortium
Date:8/21/2008

Pfaff Brings Expertise in Motor Neuron Development to the Foundation's Efforts on Behalf of People living with Spinal Cord Injury

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation today announced it has expanded the work of its International Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury to include a focus on the study of stem cells in injury and repair. Samuel L. Pfaff, Ph.D., of The Salk Institute, who has demonstrated expertise in stem cell biology and spinal cord expertise, has joined the Consortium as a Principal Investigator. Additionally, the laboratory of Fred H. Gage, Ph.D., also at The Salk, will reorient more exclusively to stem cell research, with an emphasis on human embryonic stem cells. Dr. Gage will also oversee a stem cell core laboratory that will serve as infrastructure for the research network.

The Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury works to promote structural repair and functional recovery in the acutely and chronically injured spinal cord. Its scientists pursue this mission through collaborative research across eight international laboratories that focuses on optimizing the intrinsic capacity of the adult nervous system to repair and remodel itself and eliciting robust regenerative responses after injury.

"Dr. Pfaff's expertise in the embryonic development of the spinal cord will add significant value to our research enterprise," says Susan Howley, executive vice president for research at the Reeve Foundation. "The spinal cord is so complex that the role of stem cells in repair and regeneration has to be considered within the context of what we know about the uninjured and injured spinal cord. The Consortium is a perfect environment within which to do that."

The decision to deploy a stem cell initiative under the aegis of its Research Consortium was made by the Reeve Foundation as a result of a workshop of international stem-cell experts it sponsored last year. The Founda
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SOURCE The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
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