UCLA Researchers Receive Prestigious CIRM Tools and Technologies Award

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Newswise Two scientists from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have received a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Tools and Technology Award that will forward revolutionary stem cell medicine. The UCLA researchers were among only 20 scientists nationwide to receive the Tools and Technologies Award, the most of any institution represented.

Recipients receiving awards for their respective projects included Dr. James Dunn, professor of bioengineering and surgery, for his research investigating skin-derived precursor stem cells for the treatment of enteric neuromuscular dysfunction, and Dr. Hanna Mikkola, associate professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, for her work creating a suite of engineered human pluripotent stem cell lines to facilitate the generation of patient specific hematopoietic stem cells.

UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center Director Owen Witte said, We are very grateful for CIRMs support of these potentially groundbreaking projects intended to overcome significant bottlenecks in driving stem cell therapies to the clinic.

The CIRM Tools and Technologies initiative is designed specifically to support research that can address regenerative medicines unique translational challenges. The award seeks to facilitate the creation, design and testing of broadly applicable novel tools and technologies for addressing translational bottlenecks to stem cell therapies.

Dr. James Dunn: Unlocking the Secrets of Neuromuscular Dysfunction

Dr. Dunns cutting-edge work focuses on assessing the therapeutic potential of skin-derived stem cells to treat neuromuscular gastrointestinal diseases. CIRM reviewers noted that, if successfully completed, the project would likely have a major impact upon the field. His lab will develop a model of intestinal neuromuscular dysfunction that is amenable to stem cell transplantation.

Dunns novel approach to treat these patients will use stem cells reprogrammed from the patients own skin (induced pluripotent stem cells) to generate the neural system to correct the intestinal dysfunction. Dunn and his team hope the research will result in a clinical trial using patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells and provide a critical step toward an improved therapeutic approach and to treat intestinal neuromuscular dysfunction.

Dr. Dunns research was additionally supported by the National Institutes and Sun West Company.

UCLA Researchers Receive Prestigious CIRM Tools and Technologies Award

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