Tulane professor earns grant for stem cell research

Seventy-five percent of stem cells are lost when implanted. | File photo
Kim O’Connor, a professor with Tulane University’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, recently earned a grant to improve survival rates of mesenchymal stem cells after they’re injected into patients.

The nearly $600,000 grant will be used to study these mesenchymal stem cells, which can shift into cartilage, bone, or muscle cells as the body needs. The National Science Foundation believes that the funds will help to capture the regenerative abilities of the stem cells to repair human tissues that have been damaged with trauma, disease, and aging.

“We are delighted to receive the funding for this project,” O’Connor said. “The grant will allow us to look at the survival of stem cells. Seventy-five percent of these cells are lost when implanted. We are using cell culture and a mouse model to mimic stem cell survival in patients. Our goal is to improve the survival rate, and we are very excited about this opportunity.”

This research is crucial to the future of stem cells in medical research and practice.

"The grant will allow us to look at the survival of stem cells,” O’Connor said. “Seventy-five percent of these cells are lost when implanted. Our goal is to improve the survival rate, and we are very excited about this opportunity.”

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