2016 Research Awards

2016 Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Research Awards

The following nine research projects were selected for Regenerative Medicine Minnesota grants from 81 applications. These grants are effective for a two-year period starting in 2016.

Bruce Blazar, MD, University of Minnesota Identification of novel protein drivers of definitive hematopoiesis Dr. Blazar and his co-investigator, Dr. Samantha Dunmire, are developing a renewable source of blood-forming cells that can be used to treat patients with a wide variety of disorders, including types of leukemia.

John C. Burnett, Jr, MD, Mayo Clinic Novel Cell-Free Peptide Therapeutics for Cardiac Repair and Regeneration Dr. Burnett, with his co-investigators, Drs. Ichiki and Sangaralingham, are investigating a way to heal damage after a heart attack by using a type of chemical (peptide) to stimulate the body’s own repair systems.

Brian Fife, PhD, University of Minnesota Identifying and targeting antigen specific T cells in diabetes to preserve beta cells In Type I diabetes, the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing cells. Dr. Fife is exploring a way to shut off this misdirected immune response and allow these beta cells to survive and regenerate themselves.

Daniel J. Garry, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota Humanized vasculature in gene edited animals A key component in treating cardiovascular disease is repairing and replacing damaged blood vessels around the heart. Dr. Dan Garry and his co-investigators, Dr. Mary Garry and Koyano-Nakagawa, are developing a way to produce an unlimited supply of living blood vessels that will match a patient’s immune system

Kimberly Holst, MD, Mayo Clinic Phase I study of delivery of autologous bone marrow derived mononuclear cells to myopathic right ventricle in patients with Ebstein anomaly during surgical intervention Most patients with Ebstein anomaly require surgery to improve the function of one of the valves and one of the chambers of the heart. Dr. Holst, with co-investigators Drs. Dearani and Nelson, will be giving these heart patients a special group of their own cells during this surgery to improve the healing and strength of the tissues afterwards.

Jonathan S. Marchant, PhD, University of Minnesota NAADP signaling: novel pharmacotherapy for neuronal regeneration and repair There is a key need to generate new drug treatments for neurodegenerative diseases that stop the progress of the disease rather than just to treat symptoms. Dr. Marchant’s team, including investigators Drs. Walseth and Thayer, is developing a therapy to reverse cell damage in Parkinson’s disease.

Ann M. Parr, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota Generating human neural stem and progenitor cells in a porcine model through blastocyst complementation Dr. Parr, working with Drs. Dutton, Low, and Carlson as co-investigators, is developing a new way grow human tissues and organs. Dr. Parr’s work is aimed at helping regenerate nerve and brain tissue.

Nathan P. Staff, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic A Phase IIA study using intrathecal treatment of autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a devastating disorder. Dr. Staff, along with co-investigators Drs. van Wijnen, Mandrekar, Dietz, and Windebank, are performing a clinical trial to test how safe and affective a therapy using a kind of stem cells can be in regenerating the central nervous system.