Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CIRM grantees send stem cell experiments to the international space station

Joseph Wu of Stanford University and six other scientists will be sending stem cell experiments to the international space station
One of our grantees will boldly send stem cells where no CIRM grantee has gone before: space, that is.

Joseph Wu of Stanford University is the recipient of a Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) award to "examine how cardiomyocytes (cardiac muscle tissue) mature and age in microgravity, toward cardiovascular disease modeling, drug screening and cell replacement therapy."

Just to be clear, CIRM only funds research in California and since this research will be carried out far, far, far from California, it's not funded by us. But the work builds on work we've supported over the past five years. Wu has several CIRM awards all working toward stem cell-derived therapies for heart failure.

CASIS describes the goals of these awards, which went to seven teams of researchers:
Stem cells are cells that have not yet completed differentiation, the change that occurs when cells and tissues become more specialized in their functions. They display remarkable plasticity in their ability to give rise to a spectrum of cell types and ensure life-long tissue rejuvenation and regeneration. Each experiment will use the unique microgravity environment aboard the space station to conduct experimentation that could produce tremendous health benefits for humankind - via advancements in drug screening, tissue engineering/regeneration, cell replacement therapy and cell reprogramming.
May the cells live long and prosper.

Amy Adams

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