State leaders laud Taubman Institute accomplishments
Leaders of state and local government visited the Taubman Institute on March 18 to tour Taubman Scholar labs and discuss the potential medical research offers for both improving the health of residents and establishing new jobs and businesses in Michigan.
Meeting with Taubman Institute Founder and Chair A. Alfred Taubman and Director Dr. Eva Feldman were state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and George Miller, director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services. They were joined by Cynthia Wilbanks, U-M’s vice president for government relations, and Linden Nelson, a Michigan entrepreneur.
The promise of stem cells for the treatment of disease was among the topics discussed. Dr. Feldman gave an update on her landmark trial of a new stem cell therapy for ALS, and Dr. Gary Smith, director of the MStem Cell Laboratories (U-M’s newly renamed stem cell derivation lab), told the visitors about the 16 new stem cell lines that MStem has developed – including one that carries the gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart defect that often strikes down young athletes.
The cells from that line can be grown into heart cells that actually beat on their own in the petri dish, Dr. Smith said, and thus allow physicians to study the progression of the disease in ways that aren’t possible on human subjects.
“I have always been a staunch believer in the promise of stem cells to alleviate disease, and the scientists we support through the Taubman Institute continue to amaze me, their own colleagues and the entire scientific community with the remarkable results of their visionary research,” said Mr. Taubman.
Following an update by Max Wicha’s, a Taubman Scholar and director of U-M’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, on his pioneering clinical trials targeting cancer stem cells, the group traveled to U-M’s North Campus Research Complex for a tour of the 2.1 million square-foot facility, including Dr. Wicha’s new state-of-the-art cancer research lab.
“It’s amazing to see the world class research happening right in our own backyard,” said Sen. Richardville. “The University of Michigan's Taubman Institute is leading the world in medical research for diseases like cancer and ALS. They are truly ‘the Leaders and the Best.’"
Visiting Professor lecture to focus on restoring vision loss
Robin Ali, Ph.D., a pioneer in the use of gene therapy and stem cells to restore damaged retinas, will speak in Ann Arbor on Nov. 5.
Click here for details.
New U-M President visits Taubman Institute
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People who care
Institute welcomes new gift officer
Maria Muller has been appointed to work with connect donors with funding opportunities at the Taubman Institute.
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In the News
PBS series features institute director
"The Embrace of Aging," a documentary series airing Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on Detroit Public Televsion, features several interviews with Taubman Institute Director Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Drug cuts risk of bone-marrow transplant side effect
Taubman Emerging Scholar Sung Won Choi, M.D., is the lead author of a new study that finds a new way to help prevent graft-vs-host disease in cancer patients receiving bone-marrow transplants.
Study: Two types of cancer stem cells lead to metastasis
Breast cancer stem cells exist in two different states and each state plays a role in how cancer spreads, according to a new study published by Taubman Senior Scholar Dr. Max Wicha.