www.txstemcell.org

Targeted Hope Newsletter 

June 2011
In this Issue
From the Chairman
CPRIT Recruits Top Talent
MD Anderson
UT Southwestern
Type 1 Diabetes
Eye Diseases
Lung Disease
iPS Cells
Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis
Memorial Day 2011
TSCR Announcements
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Livestrong Headquarters

   5:30pm 9-00pm    

  

  

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Dear Texans and Friends,

 

As we approach the end of the 82nd legislative session we thought it might be a good time to give you a quick recap. The good news--No legislation that would adversely affect stem cell research in Texas became law.  TSCR testified before the Senate Health and Human Services and the House Higher Education Committees during hearings on a reporting bill. While on the surface the bill appeared innocuous, we felt strongly that it was important to state our position, as bills like this have been an impediment to stem cell research in other states.

 

We reinforced the importance of supporting all medical research and highlighted problems with some reporting bills and their potential to negatively impact our ability to continue recruiting top talent to the leading universities and medical facilities in Texas.

 

Make no mistake about it; we're in a stem cell "space race." States that embrace this research will benefit by an influx of quality doctors and scientists to our great institutions of higher learning. (See Below One State's Loss is Texas's Gain).  We will keep a vigilant eye on the pink dome downtown during the special session.

 

On a lighter note, several of us took a field trip to Dallas last weekend to support the Transactivators at Dyer Street. The entire band, led by Dr. Eric Olson and  Dr. Jay Schneider, who just happen to serve on our Medical Advisory Committee, were quite impressive. How they find time to practice between lab experiments and patients is beyond our understanding. We're hoping they'll lend their talents again on World Stem Cell Awareness Day, October 5, 2011. Stay "tuned."

 

On that "note," we are putting together a Texas "Concert Series" Fundraiser. We hope to have concerts in four cities: Austin, featuring our own Regenerative Blues Band, Dallas with the Transactivators, Houston and San Antonio. If you guys and gals know a band in either of these cities, contact us as soon as possible as we are preparing the posters and we would love to add new talent to our lineup for this great cause.

Roger S. Gammon, MD  Director of Research,

Austin Heart, PLLC

Presenting at August 16th Learn for Life event at Livestrong HQ

 

Finally, Mark your calendars! Our August 16th program is coming up and this is an event you should not miss.

 

We  have two amazing speakers.  First, Dr. Roger Gammon of Austin Heart and member of our Medical Advisory Committee will present updates on exciting new FDA approved clinical trials. Then, Eddy Davis, a favorite local Austin golf pro and cancer survivor will share his journey, Stem Cells vs. Lymphoma: A View from the Trenches. A story that we know you will find truly inspirational and enlightening.

 

We'll have food and refreshments from Chefs Catering and TNT and live music by the Regenerative Blues Band. Escape the Austin heat in August and join us at Livestrong Headquarters for this latest installment in our "Learn for Life" series.

 

See you all this Summer!

 

David L. Bales

Chairman

Texans for Stem Cell Research

 

Visit us at 

txstemcell.org

 

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Lone Star State Lures Two Top Scientists

 

Cancer Research
Texas's $3 Billion Fund Lures Scientific Heavyweights 

Science (May 27, 2011) - The state of Texas is reeling in big fish with help from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), approved by voters through a ballot initiative in 2007. The institute, which received $450 million for its first 2 years, expects to announce five "superstar" recruits this year. That comes on top of 18 junior and midcareer scientists brought in over the past 2 years, scores of grants for researchers already in Texas, and a new clinical trials network.  (Full Article 
University officials last month announced that the Texas had recruited a pair of leading scientists to lead research efforts at two of the state's premier institutions. University of Texas regents on Wednesday named Ronald DePinho as the next president of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. A long-time cancer geneticist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, in recent years DePinho has turned his attention to the aging process. For example, in January his research team reported in Nature that reactivating the enzyme telomerase reversed age-related tissue damage in mice. (Read More)  

 


"Dr. DePinho has based his career on teaching and research, and he deeply understands the medical culture of cancer research and the enormous responsibility involved in running the nation's - and perhaps the world's - best cancer center."   

                                                                                                                                                        -Francisco G. Cigarroa, M, UT System Chancellor   

One State's Loss is Texas's Gain

 

"...victory for pediatrics research  
 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas announced that Sean Morrison, currently director of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor's Center for Stem Cell Biology, will lead a new effort to develop treatments for pediatric diseases. An advocate for stem cell research, Morrison successfully lobbied for Michigan's Proposal 2, which gave the green light to human embryonic stem cell research in the Great Lake state in 2008. Dr. Morrison was recruited to UT Southwestern with grant funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), funded by a 2007 taxpayer-approved initiative to pump $3 billion into cancer research in Texas over 10 years. In addition to his research, he will be responsible for attracting high caliber pediatric scientists and clinicians to the university.  (Read More

 

"The recruitment of Dr. Sean Morrison will ignite an exciting new collaborative energy between UT Southwestern and  Children's."

                                                   -Dr. Greg Fitz, Executive VP for Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of UTSW Medical School 

Pushing the Envelope:
Hope for Type 1 Diabetics

 


Los Angeles Times Special (May 30, 2011)-  Type 1 diabetes affects between 1 million and 3 million Americans. A pouch full of brand-new cells may one day reduce the need for people with Type 1 diabetes to take daily insulin shots. ViaCyte Inc. has already used its technique to cure diabetes in hundreds of mice, says one of the company's directors. They hope to begin human trials of its implants by 2013 aided by $26 million in grants and loans from the state's stem cell funding agency. (Read More)

  

Saving Sight, Testing Faith

 

"There are over 3,000 Americans who die every day from diseases that could be treated with embryonic stem-cell therapies."   

                                                                   - Robert Lanza,  Chief Medical Officer of Advanced Cell Technology

 

Newsweek (May 15, 2011) - After President Bush banned the use of federal money for most embryonic-stem-cell research in 2001, it was left to private companies (or academic labs using private money) to carry the ball. In 2004, Dr. Robert Lanza and colleagues published a paper showing that they could coax stem cells from human embryos to become retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. When RPE cells die, as they do in macular degeneration, the photoreceptors begin to die, too, and the patient goes blind. Transplanting RPE cells grown from stem cells might rejuvenate the eye's rods and cones, restoring lost vision. (Read More) (Read More)

First Human Lung Stem Cell Identified

 

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2011) - Lung disease is the third leading killer in the United States after heart disease and cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. Stem cell therapy on lung diseases has long been elusive because the lung is a highly complex organ with a variety of cell types that can renew at different rates, experts say. US researchers said they have identified for the first time human lung stem cells that are self-renewing and could offer important clues for treating chronic lung diseases. These are the critical first steps in developing clinical treatments for those with lung disease for which no therapies exist. However, much work lies ahead before we will know if the discovery will turn out to be therapeutically useful. (Read More including informative summaries of the publication) 

US researchers identify first human lung stem cell

Lung stem cell found, controversy ensues 

Nature- May 12th, 2011

New England Journal of Medicine-Evidence for Human Lung Stem Cells    

Human Lung Stem Cells: A Breathtaking Discovery? 

Yellow Brick Road for iPS Cells?

 

New York Times (May 13th, 2011) - In an unexpected setback to efforts to harness a promising new type of stem cell to treat diseases, researchers reported that tissues made from those stem cells might be rejected by a patient's immune system - even though the tissues would be derived from the same patient. (Full StoryThe initial creation of human iPS cells in 2007 has intrigued scientists, ethicists, politicians and patients alike.  Many hope that iPS cells reprogrammed from adult tissue will eliminate the need for embryonic stem cells and provide a renewable source of autologous cells for treating a host of incurable diseases.  However, at this point there are still many questions and the path for these cells to the clinic is not as clear.  This story has been well publicized and is still unfolding as scientist work hard to find answers for the common goal--treatments and cures.  Here are a few links for further reading.

Second Participant Enrolls in
Spinal Cord Injury Stem Cell Trial

 

CHICAGO (May 11, 2011) - The first recipient receiving the injection of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells more than six months ago has not experienced any serious adverse events attributed to the stem cell transplant to date. This month, Northwestern had the second enrollment nationwide in the study sponsored by Geron Corp. The trial will include up to 10 subjects nationally.  This is a human safety study, but in previous animal studies, these stem cells demonstrated the ability to remyelinate or re-coat damaged nerve cells that had lost their ability to conduct electrical impulses down the axon. The stem cells also have shown nerve-growth stimulating properties leading to restoration of function in animal models of acute spinal cord injury.  (Read More)  (Read More)
 
Watch ABC World News with Diane Sawyer   Video Interview with 1st Patient

Memorial Day Perspective

 

Memorial Day (May 30th) -  This week we celebrated Memorial Day and a fellow patient advocate put stem cell research in perspective.  Recent advances in stem cell research promise to revolutionize health care for everyday Americans in the coming decade. This technology will also be critical for our wounded soldiers, representing the biggest revolution for treating battlefield injuries since penicillin.  Stem cells hold promise for treating not only our civilians, but also our troops.  The research and technologies may be vital to the health of our servicemen and women who give the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, for our country.  Let's continue to honor them.  (Read More(Follow)

    Blood Transfusions Burn TreatmentsSerious Orthopedic Injury Repair: Bone & Cartilage |  Paralysis 
 

Special Announcements  

Daria Neidre is a committed member of the Texans For Stem Cell Research (TSCR) and has served on

Dr. Neidre with her professor, Dr. Roger Farrar, Professor Kinesiology & Health Education and Office of the Vice President for Research
University of Texas at Austin
(May 21, 2011)

our Advisory Council since 2010. We are honored to have her on our team and congratulate her on her most recent academic achievements. 

 

After completing her undergraduate work at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and receiving a Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology with a specialty in Cardiovascular Aging Research from University of Texas at Austin, Daria set her sights on the emerging adult stem cell field. 

 

Last month, we celebrated Daria's graduation at Jack Allen's Kitchen in Austin, Texas. She completed her PhD in Orthopaedic Biomechanics/ Adult Stem Cell & Bone Biology through the Interdisciplinary program within the UT Austin Kinesiology Department  (Biomedical Engineering / Pharmacology) under the direction of her sponsor, Roger Farrar, PhD. Her specific focus is on adult stem cell research and their ability for generation of bone in spinal fusion. 

 

She is already receiving requests to speak and we look forward to her assistance helping us accomplish our educational goals across Texas.  

 

Congratulations Dr. Neidre!  

Daria Brigitte Neidre, Ph.D
Orthopaedic Biomechanics and Adult Stem Cell Bone Biology

University of Texas at Austin  

Graduation May 21, 2011

Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of stem cell clinical applications for the treatment of millions of people living with disease and debilitating injury. TSCR strives to educate our citizens and state leadership through the cooperation of researchers, doctors, patients, and leaders in the regenerative medicine field.

 

(Office)  900 Congress Suite L-119,  Austin, TX 78701

(Mailing Address) 3112 Windsor Suite 106,  Austin, Texas 78703

 


You can help our organization continue to provide important education about promising stem cell research through your donations.  Your contributions provide support for our educational programs and advocacy efforts. We must keep our community informed about the importance of this research and it's potential to provide treatments and cures for diseases and debilitating injuries. You can make a gift through our secure website donation page, cause page or by check.  We thank you in advance for your support and hope you will join our growing organization in 2011.   

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Contact David Bales for additional opportunities