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Foundation grant will advance stem cell research targeting Alzheimer's

Gallego-Perez (center) demonstrating regenerative medicine technology in his lab with Asst. Prof. Natalia Higuita-Castro and former graduate research assistant Alec SunyeczBiomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Daniel Gallego-Perez has received a $250,000 grant from the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation to develop novel therapies for Alzheimer’s disease by harnessing the power of skin-derived stem cells.

Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people. The disease is complex and one of medicine’s most elusive challenges.

Gallego-Perez's team aims to generate autologous brain-like tissue from skin stem cells, which are inherently replenishable, as an unlimited source of neuronal tissue to treat Alzheimer's.

Last October, Gallego-Perez won a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award to build on earlier studies that demonstrated how tissue nanotransfection (TNT) can convert skin cells into blood vessels and nerve cells. Results of that regenerative medicine study appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Its primary mission is to encourage, promote and support medical research focused on stem cells, typically by funding research and clinical programs undertaken by qualified organizations.

Tags: Research