A Johns Hopkins engineering professor who is coaxing stem cells into forming blood vessels that can nurture healthy tissue or starve cancer cells is the first recipient of a new university award that provides $250,000 in research funding. The inaugural President’s Frontier Award was announced Jan. 28 during a surprise presentation at recipient Sharon Gerecht’s lab on the university’s Homewood Campus in Baltimore. Gerecht is an associate professor in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University
This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.
Growing new blood vessels in the lab is a tough challenge, but a Johns Hopkins engineering team has solved a major stumbling block: how to prod stem cells to become two different types of tissue that are needed to build tiny networks of veins and arteries. The team’s solution is detailed in an article appearing in the journal Cardiovascular Research. The work is important because networks of new blood vessels, assembled in the lab for transplanting into patients, could be a boon to people whose circulatory systems have been damaged by heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a single protein molecule may hold the key to turning cardiac stem cells into blood vessels or muscle tissue, a finding that may lead to better ways to treat heart attack patients.
Johns Hopkins graduate students have invented a system to significantly boost the number of stem cells collected from a newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta, so that many more patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders can be treated with these valuable cells.