IU doctors land large grant for adult stem cell research


An announcement involving cutting edge research of adult stem cells has doctors at Indiana University excited.

The doctors have been included in a $63 million National Institutes of Health project nabbing spots the Cleveland Clinic and Vanderbilt lost and patients here will benefit from.

Dr. Mike Murphy and Dr. Keith March will head up the IU effort, one of seven nationwide sites just named to recruit 500 patients over the next seven years who have heart attacks, heart failure or poor circulation in the legs for adult stem cell research.

"What we are doing is taking the cells from one part of the body and bringing them to another area that needs repair more urgently,' said March. "They are able to repair a variety of tissues by either decreasing inflammation by helping tissues not to die if they are at risk of death, or by helping them even to grow and regenerate."

The new NIH Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network distinction follows years of work with patients like Ruth Diggs, who was diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease in New York.

"They were just telling me the only solution for me was to amputate the leg," Diggs said.

Unhappy with that option, Ruth traveled to Indiana and enrolled in a clinical trial at IU, where adult stem cells were injected in to her leg. That led to regeneration and Ruth's leg was saved.

"The fact that she has her leg, we are very, very grateful," said Ruth's daughter, Melvina Jagack.

Murphy showed images of blood flow through the leg of a male patient from Maine who enrolled in the clinical trial.

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IU doctors land large grant for adult stem cell research

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