EVENTS | VIEW CALENDAR
NHLBI awards $170 million to fund stem cell research
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded $170 million to be paid over seven years to 18 teams of research scientists to develop the high-potential field of stem and progenitor cell tools and therapies.
The awards create the NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, which will bring together researchers from the heart, lung, blood, and technology research fields. A seven-year project, the consortium assembles nine research hubs with multidisciplinary teams of principal investigators and an administrative coordinating center to focus on progenitor cell biology.
While a stem cell can renew itself indefinitely or differentiate, a progenitor cell can only divide a limited number of times and is often more limited than a stem cell in the kinds of cells it can become. Given the potential of these cells for clinical applications, the goals of the consortium are to identify and characterize progenitor cell lines, direct the differentiation of stem and progenitor cells to desired cell fates, and develop new clinical strategies to address the unique challenges presented by the transplantation of these cells.
"NHLBI is committed to stimulating stem cell research that will lead to the development of regenerative therapies for the treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases," said NHLBI Director Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel in a statement. "Important gaps remain in our understanding of stem and progenitor cells, and this consortium holds great promise to expand our knowledge and uncover therapeutic applications of great public impact."
The consortium's hubs—along with their participating institutions, principal investigators and missions—include:
The consortium's administrative coordinating center will be led by Dr. Michael Terrin at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. The center will administer funds to support cores, pilot studies, and ancillary and collaborative studies. The consortium will be presented at NIH's upcoming International Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Oct. 14-15 at NIH's campus in Bethesda, Md.