June 7, 2010

30 Johns Hopkins researchers receive Md. stem cell funding

Thirty Johns Hopkins researchers have been awarded funding from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006. In all, 141 applications were reviewed and 42 projects funded, totaling $11.7 million. This year’s funded projects include:

• Investigator-Initiated Research Grants, designed for investigators with preliminary data supporting the grant application. These grants will be for up to $1 million of direct costs over a two- to five-year project.

Johns Hopkins recipients are Yoon Young Jang in collaboration with Lonza Walkersville, “Developing Safe and Effective Stem Cell Technology for Liver Disease Modeling and Therapy”; George Ricaurte, “Stem Cell Transplantation in Nonhuman Primates with Parkinsonism”; and Piotr Walczak in collaboration with Q Therapeutics, “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Oligodendrocytes in Therapy: Advanced Tools for Monitoring Engraftment and Evaluating Therapeutic Effect.”

• Exploratory Research Grants, designed for investigators who are new to the stem cell field and for new hypotheses, approaches, mechanisms or models that may differ from current thinking in the stem cell field, without any preliminary data supporting the application. These grants will be for up to $100,000 of direct costs per year, for up to two years.

Johns Hopkins recipients are Dmitri Artemov, “Noninvasive Imaging of Stem Cell Homing and Viability”; Peter Calabresi, “Dissecting the Mechanism of Action of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis”; Ping Gao, “The Role of c-Myc in Regulating miRNAs and Metabolic Genes in iPS Cells”; Warren Grayson, “Oxygen Tension as a Mediator of Vasculogenesis and Osteogenesis in Engineered Bone Constructs”; Ahmet Hoke in collaboration with Invitrogen, “Human Embryonic Stem Cell–Derived Schwann Cells to Enhance Nerve Repair in a Model of Chronic Denervation”; Vassilis Koliatsos, “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as Models of Alzheimer’s Disease”; Min Li, “Small Organic Chemical Modulation of Human Cardiac Potassium Channels”; Alison Moliterno, “Defining the Molecular Basis of Aberrant Stem Cell Function in Primary Myelobrosis”; Akira Sawa, “Susceptibility to Metabolic and Oxidative Stress in Neurons in Patients with Schizophrenia”; Karen Zeller, “Characterization of Novel Sequence Motifs Important for Stem Cell Biology”; and Jizhong Zou in collaboration with NIH/NIAID, “Targeted Gene Correction of x-cgd Mutations in Patient-Specific iPS Cells.”

• Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Grants designed for postdoctoral fellows who wish to conduct basic and/or transitional research on all types of human stem cells in Maryland. These grants will be for up to $55,000 of direct, indirect and fringe benefits costs per year, for up to two years.

Johns Hopkins recipients are Cheng-Hsuan Chiang, “Characterization of iPS Cell–Derived Neural Progenitors and Neurons From Psychiatric Patients With a DISC1 Mutation”; Kimberly Christian, “Understanding Roles of Mecp2 in Neural Development Using Patient-Specific iPSCs”; Karen David, “The Hippo Pathway in Neuronal Stem Cell Maintenance and Tumorigenesis”; Yasue Horiuchi, “Alteration in Gene Expression in Neurons Derived From iPS Cells From Patients With Schizophrenia”; Xiasong Huang in collaboration with Advanced Cell Technology, “Generation of Red Blood Cells From Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells”; Hua Liu in collaboration with Quality Biological, “Toward Generation and Expansion of Clinical Grade Hepatic Cells From iPS Cells”; Ian Martin in collaboration with Invitrogen, “Generation of Human Dopamine Neurons From Parkinson’s Disease Patients With LRRK2 Mutations”; Il Minn in collaboration with Quality Biological, “Leukemic Stem Cells and Their Microenvironment”; Emily Potter, “Gliogenesis From Multipotent Precursor Cells: Identification of Novel Differentiation Factors”; Sivaprakash Ramalingam, “Targeted Addition of Globin Gene at a Pre-Determined Locus in Human Stem Cells”; Anirudha Singh in collaboration with Pfizer, “Biomaterials to Direct Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation”; Peng Sun, “Influence of Microenviroment on Human Stem Cells Maintenance and Differentiation”; Brad Swelstad, “Identification and Isolation of Human Germline Progenitor Stem Cells in the Adult Ovary”; Zhenxing Wen in collaboration with Invitrogen, “Long-Term in Vivo Imaging of Dopaminergic Neurons From Pd Patient-Derived iPS Cells”; Ki-Jun Yoon in collaboration with Invitrogen, “Notch Signaling in Human Neurogenesis”; and Chung Zhong, “Derivation and Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived From Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells of Huntington’s Disease Patients.”