Summer 2013 E-Newsletter

Message from Director Owen Witte

Message from Director Dr. Owen Witte

I recently had the great pleasure to announce the Center’s 2013 Innovation and Seed Research Program awardees. This year, we selected eight proposals from more than 30 submissions for these coveted awards. Each project was reviewed by an external panel of experts and chosen based on the innovative research questions proposed, the creative scientific approach presented, and in many cases the degree of collaboration between groups of scientists with diverse expertise.

Announcing these awards has become a favorite part of my role as Director. I consider providing $1 million to support cutting-edge research as philanthropy well invested in the future of medicine. And now in the face of lessened financial resources available from the National Institutes of Health and other governmental resources, these gift funds are critical to accelerate scientific research and discovery.

This year we selected a range of projects that represent the most basic scientific questions to ideas that might have an immediate translational impact. I look forward to seeing each of these projects unfold over the course of the next academic year. Highlights from these awards include:

- A collaboration of four Center faculty from basic and clinical sciences seeking to develop cell based regenerative treatments for heart disease.

- A collaboration of seven Center faculty pursuing novel approaches to treat a broad range of cancers, leukemias and other diseases by harnessing a patient’s own immune system to eliminate their disease.

- Exploring the use of stem cells to regenerate bone for the treatment of arthritis and other orthopedic conditions.

- A collaboration between the director of our human embryonic stem cell derivation core and the director of our DNA sequencing core that seeks to develop methods to identify and ensure the highest quality of stem cells that will one day be used to treat disease.

The Stem Cell Center owes much of our success to the philanthropy of others. We are particularly indebted to Eli and Edythe Broad and the Broad Foundations. It is through their support that we have been able to initiate and sustain this impactful award program. We are also very thankful to the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, Gillian Fuller and the Fuller Foundation, John Lyddon, and Tom and Wendy Nogradi for dedicating their philanthropy to supporting these awards.

Please enjoy the rest of your summer and don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.

With best wishes,

Owen Witte, MD