A Healthier Wisconsin

Program in Regenerative Medicine: New Faculty Recruitment

Recruiting investigators with experience in stem cell research to the Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Program in Regenerative Medicine: New Faculty RecruitmentPrincipal Investigator:Stephen Duncan, PhD, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and AnatomyAward Amount:1,600,000
Award Date
Project Duration:72 months

Project Description Narrative:

The identification of human adult and embryonic stem cells has been heralded as one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the last 100 years. The excitement over the discovery of such cells lies in the enormous potential that stem cells hold for the study and treatment of human disease. The basic concept is simple: Stem cells can be grown in the laboratory and used to generate mature cells that could be used to replace damaged cells in an afflicted individual. While the potential of stem cells is indisputable, making such potential a reality is an enormous undertaking. To be successful, the dedicated effort of thousands of scienctists and clinicians will be required.

Through this award, the Medical College of Wisconsin will advance stem cell research in the state of Wisconsin by initiating a Program in Regenerative Medicine through several aims, including the recruitment of new investigators with established experience in stem cell biology.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Successfully recruited new faculty to advance research in regenerative medicine that can impact health and well-being for Wisconsin residents and beyond
  • Provided funds to support the work of Allison Ebert, PhD. The lab made important contributions in the area of neurodegenerative disease research by using human stem cells to study spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and muscular dystrophy. Data produced have been important for the scientific field, identifying novel aspects of disease processes that may one day affect the broader public health domain, including identifying a novel finding in SMA that astrocytes, the support cells of the nervous system, are dysfunctional and may contribute to disease processes, which may help develop more targeted therapies. In addition, published a novel method to generate skeletal muscle from stem cells to support the study of ALS.
  • Provided start-up funds to support the work of Michelle A. Battle, PhD. The lab established robust research into novel roles for GATA proteins and E-cadherin in intestinal development and function in mouse models and using human pluripotent stem cells (hIPS), which has identified answers to basic questions about human intestinal development and the ability to test the efficacy and safety of novel treatments. Lab's work resulted in multiple publications, poster presentations, and presentations to disseminate findings and advance further research and discovery.

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