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Bench to Bedside Synergy
Jordan Family Center Clinical & Translational Research

Clinical and translational researchers in the Jordan Family Center are focused on expanding the promise of stem cell therapies and transplantation by integrating clinical and basic research in a synergistic bench-to-bedside relationship.

Laurel Hertel, PhD, investigates the pathogenesis of human Cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can cause serious disease in transplant recipients. Dr. Hertel has been working to identify the cellular proteins that can block or promote CMV infection, the role played by a viral protein recently discovered in the CMV infection process, and the mechanisms that allow a virus to remain inactive. These efforts will eventually provide the keys to helping treat or prevent CMV in transplant recipients.

Vladimir Serikov, PhD, and CHORI Center for Sickle Cell Disease & Thalassemia Chair and Senior Scientist, Frans Kuypers, PhD, have identified the human placenta as a source of stem cells that have the potential to be used therapeutically in transplantation. Unlike stem cells from umbilical cords, human placenta stem cells occur in far greater volume, come from a currently unutilized resource, and hold the potential to help patients for whom no matching donor can be found.

Bindu Kanathezhath, MD, and CHORI Center for Sickle Cell Disease & Thalassemia Chair and Senior Scientist, Frans Kuypers, PhD, have shown for the first time that mismatched donor cord blood transplantation is possible in mouse models . Using a unique technique to make the donor T cells photochemically sensitive and thus disable their natural propensity for causing graft versus host disease, Drs. Kanathezhath and Kuypers have opened the door to the possibility that donor and recipients may not have to be so exclusively matched.

Wen-Shu Wu, PhD, was recruited from the Maine Medical Research Institute for his work in hematopoietic stem cell renewal and cell-fate determinations and to develop further work at CHORI in induce pluripotent stem cells and genetic reprogramming.

Mark Walters, MD, the Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Children's hospital, focuses on research to develop new and safer methods of alternative donor transplantation. These efforts include the development of, and participation in, clinical trials of unrelated donor marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation for hemoglobin disorders and the development of a new trial to test unrelated donor transplantation in young adults with sickle cell anemia. The overarching goal of these studies is to expand the availability of transplantation to those with hemoglobin disorders who might benefit from this curative therapy.

 

revised: Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:54 PM

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