Pulmonary center receives $1.4 million grant
Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Pulmonary Center has received a two-year $1.4 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to derive stem cells and lung progenitors from patients with lung disease.
Darrell Kotton, MD, associate professor of medicine and pathology, and Gustavo Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, are the principal investigators of this new grant award. Together Kotton and Mostoslavsky lead a multicenter investigative team of five Boston University laboratories together with two labs at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Vermont. The investigators plan
to use the grant to derive induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from skin cells taken from individuals with inherited lung diseases and use them to derive new lung precursor cells. The newly derived cells will be compared to the cells made from individuals without inherited lung diseases and will also be compared to cells made from embryonic stem cells in an effort to better understand the biology of pluripotent stem cells and to develop novel treatments for lung diseases, such as emphysema and cystic fibrosis.
"It is a tremendous privilege to receive this grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute," said Kotton. "We now have the opportunity to make major headway in understanding how the lung develops as well as regenerates after injury."
Kotton's research focuses on stem cell biology and gene therapy related to lung injury and repair. He is a principal investigator in the Boston University Pulmonary Center and a member of several research groups, including the Pulmonary Developmental Biology Group. Kotton and Mostoslavsky's laboratories work closely together to understand the biology of stem cells, focusing on the signals that tell pluripotent stem cells how to develop and form new tissues, such as lung, intestinal, or blood cells.
This year, Kotton and Mostoslavsky became co-directors of the Boston University Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), bringing together several research groups to focus on various aspects of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. CReM's goal is to advance research in stem cell biology using the embryo's normal development as a 'road map' for how to control the development of stem cells.