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 at 612-624-5680 to set up an interview.
In the news
Dr. Timothy O'Brien, UMN professor and Stem Cell Institute member, recently commented on a product, Cell-Mate 3D, that is produced in Two Harbors, MN by BRTI. He described his work growing "cerebral organoids, not just brain cells, as has been done before, but fully formed, albeit microscopic, brain structures" in this relatively new three-dimensional medium rather than the traditional flat, hard bottom of a petri dish." "This is potentially really important because they could be used for development of drugs for neurological problems — to check for toxic effects of drugs," said the University of Minnesota professor and member of the school's Stem Cell Institute. "What we're forming is much more like a real brain than what people have had access to before."
Andrew Grande, M.D. of the UMN Medical School, Department of Neursurgery, and Stem Cell Institute faculty member discusses stroke awareness month on Sunday, May 14 on Roshini Rajkumar's WCCO radio show. He shares information about strokes and educates the audience about what to do if someone thinks they are having a stroke.
An exciting development in understanding how cancer works and potential ways of blocking it occurred recently in Dr. Rita Perlingeiro's laboratory. A new study in Blood shows that a glycoprotein on the cell surface called endoglin, also known as CD105, is a marker for the cancer stem cell in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), suggesting it plays a role in its genesis.
After discovering this feature, lead researcher Rita Perlingeiro, PhD, professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Medicine and Stem Cell Institute Faculty member, then tested whether targeting endoglin would halt the progression of leukemia.
The head of California's stem-cell agency is stepping down after three years. C. Randall Mills, known as Randy, is leaving the agency to run a nonprofit bone marrow donor matching program as of July 1, according to the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. “Mills had a big positive impact on CIRM and helped it go to the next level,” writes Paul Knoepfler, a stem-cell researcher at the University of California, Davis, and close chronicler of regenerative medicine science and policy at his blog The Niche.
Brenda Ogle, PhD, a Stem Cell Institute faculty member and associate professor of biomedical engineering, is part of a team that has created a revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The team is comprised of researchers from UMN, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Researchers used laser-based 3D-bioprinting techniques to incorporate stem cells derived from adult human heart cells on a matrix that began to grow and beat synchronously in a dish in the lab. Read more about the study published recently in Circulation Research.
On April 10, Regenerative Medicine Minnesota (RMM) announced awards. Congratulations to the following SCI Faculty
Research Grant Awards
- Karen Echeverri, PhD - Spinal Cord Regeneration: Translating from Salamanders to Enhance Regenerative Repair after Injury in Mammals
- Mark J. Osborn, PhD - Natural Killer Cell Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy
- Jop van Berlo, PhD - Identification of Novel Regulators of Heart Regeneration
Educational Grant Award
Troy Lund, MD, PhD - Medical Student Summer Research Program in Regenerative Medicine - Pre-T35
Biobusiness Grant Awards
- James Dutton, PhD - Critical infrastructure to support new stem cell-derived treatments for patients with age-related macular degeneration in Minnesota
- Walter Low, PhD - Production of Dopamine Neurons – A Cellular Product for Treating Parkinson’s
The University of Minnesota is joining the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), a consortium of nearly 100 organizations spanning industry, government, academia and the non-profit sector. The Institute is set to receive nearly $300 million in public-private investment to develop scalable manufacturing processes for engineered tissues and organs. The University will be developing training curricula for 2- and 4-year colleges that will educate educate students about Tissue and Organ Biofabrication, 3D Bioprinting and Regenerative Medicine.
Stem Cell Institute faculty member, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, led the ARMI submission process for the Midwest region. She is excited about "being a part of an effort that could benefit patients and our economy."
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.