If you have questions about stem cell research, questions will be referred directly to the Director of the Stem Cell Institute or to the scientist/physician with the most applicable knowledge and research. Please contact Caroline Marin to set up an interview.
In the news
When scientists can determine what type of cell a stem cell will become, they can better manipulate cells for stem cell therapy. Scientists at Rutgers and other universities have created a new way to identify the state and fate of stem cells earlier than previously possible. The approach, called EDICTS (Epi-mark Descriptor Imaging of Cell Transitional States), involves labeling epigenetic modifications and then imaging the cells with super resolution to see the precise location of the marks.
The regenerative biology team at the Morgridge Institute for Research, led by stem cell pioneer and University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor James Thomson, is studying whether stem cell differentiation rates can be accelerated in the lab and made available to patients faster. While the study published in the February issue ofScience Direct suggests that cellular timing is a stubborn process, the Thomson lab is exploring a variety of follow-up studies on potential factors that could help cells alter their pace, Barry says.
The research team of Dr. Scott Kaufmann, leader of Mayo’s Anticancer Drug Action Laboratory, and Daniel Harki, a U of M assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, Stem Cell Institute member, and director of the Harki Lab, in January saw their patent application for a method of “assessing enzyme-nucleic acid complexes” published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with Mayo and the U of M named as the assignees.
Dr. Mehmet Oz investigates and uncovers the dangers of unregulated stem cell clinics, citing absence of scientific support for treatment. Dr. Oz features a series of segments on his daytime television program that expose the scams that take advantage of the most vulnerable.
Jaime Modiano, SCI and UMN College of Veterinary Medicine Faculty member and colleague, Antonella Borgatti, developed and tested a cancer drug that they believe could someday help patients live longer and with fewer side effects. After leading a study treating dogs with HSA Sarcoma, a fast-spreading incurable cancer, Dr. Modiano said "We just never expected it was going to work as well as it did."
A blood washing device invented by IEM Executive Committee Member Dr. Allison Hubel, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the IEM-affiliated Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR), was featured by Twin Cities Business. The automated system cleanses from thawed blood glycerol preservatives, which are added to blood prior to its freezing for storage, and it does so more efficiently and safely than does a centrifuge, which has been the standard type of equipment used for this process and which requires more time and labor to use and results in high cell losses. Dr. Hubel's device could ultimately help to make large strategic reserves available from blood produced from stem cells, during emergencies when insufficient quantities of donated blood are available - something which is not as possible with centrifuges. The device took a big step toward this future with a $223,000 Phase I NIH SBIR grant awarded in September to the start-up company seeking to commercialize it, Headwaters Innovation Inc., led by a successful local entrepreneur.
IEM members Drs. Richard W. Bianco, Associate Professor of Surgery and Program Director of Experimental Surgical Services, and Brenda M. Ogle, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering have been elected to the 2017 Class of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellows. Drs. Bianco and Ogle will join the AIMBE College of Fellows, which consists of approximately "1,500 individuals who are the outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry and government. These leaders in the field have distinguished themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice and/or education." Each will be inducted on March 20th at AIMBE's Annual Even in Washington, D.C.