Stem Cell Faculty Receive New Grants

Tobacco-related disease kills more people world wide than any other single factor. In the United States alone, 400,000 people die each year from tobacco-related disease. Stem cell researchers at UC Riverside will be contributing to our understanding of tobacco's effect on human development using novel stem cell technologies.

This year, two of our stem cell faculty have received new grants from the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). Dr. Nicole zur Nieden, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, received a Young Investigators Award that will enable her to examine the effects of cigarette smoke on the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes and osteoblasts. In addition, Dr. Prue Talbot, Director of the Stem Cell Center and a member of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, received a grant to study the effects of specific chemicals in cigarette smoke on the growth and survival of human embryonic stem cells. Both labs will be using human embryonic stem cells to model prenatal stages of human development and will take advantage of UCR's new Stem Cell Core Facility to conduct portions of their work. The awards will begin on July 1 of this year.

In addition, Dr. Manuela Martins-Green, also from Cell Biology and Neuroscience, received a TRDRP award to study thirdhand smoke, the residue left in a room after smoking has occurred. Two PhD students, Nisana Anderson who works with Dr. Yinsheng Wang and Chris Kieslich who works with Dr. Dimitrios Morikis were recipients of Dissertation Awards from TRDRP.

The five TRDRP awards coming to UCR this year are the most our campus has received from this agency in a single year and will help UCR become a force in this important research area.

Posted 09-15-2010

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