University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers have been awarded a $1.85 million grant to create an interdisciplinary stem cell research training program.
The program, called Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine (SCiRM), will bring together 18 faculty members in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Roswell Park's graduate division.
"Successful translation of stem cell breakthroughs into cell therapies requires interdisciplinary approaches that draw from a wide range of fields," said Stelios Andreadis, Ph.D., professor and chair of UB's department of chemical and biological engineering, and the grant's principal investigator.
He added: "We plan to meet this challenge by developing an innovative graduate training program to educate the future leaders in this field."
The grant was awarded by New York State Stem Cell Science, the state's publicly funded agency tasked with making advancements in stem cell biology. It will support eight graduate students per year for five years.
Each student will conduct research in the laboratory of a SCiRM faculty member. To increase interactions, the students will be co-mentored by a second SCiRM faculty member.
Sriram Neelamegham and Richard Gronostajski will serve as program co-directors. Neelamegham, Ph.D., is a professor in UB's department of chemical and biological engineering. Gronostajski, Ph.D., is a professor in UB's department of biochemistry and Roswell's department of molecular and cellular biology. He serves as director of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, a graduate degree program in UB's medical school.
They expect the program will attract excellent graduate students and foster new collaborations between UB and Roswell. Research findings are expected to lead to scientific, technological and commercial advances in health care that could benefit Western New York's economy.
SCiRM is expected to complement the Western New York Stem Cell Culture and Analysis Center (WNYSTEM), which is funded by New York State Stem Cell Science and the UB medical school.