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Center Updates

Metabolic switch may regenerate heart muscle following heart attack

Research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison finds that a new therapeutic approach for heart failure could help restore cardiac function by regenerating heart muscle. In a study recently published in the journal Circulation, the UW team describes its success in improving, in a mouse model, the function of heart muscle by temporarily blocking a key metabolic enzyme after a heart attack. This simple intervention, the researchers say, could ultimately help people regain cardiac function. “Our goal was to gain new understanding of how the heart can heal itself following injury at the molecular and cellular level and see if there was a way to restore cardiac function to an earlier state,” says UW–Madison’s Ahmed Mahmoud, professor of cell and regenerative biology in the School of Medicine and Public Health.

Learn more about the research here.
April 15, 2021

Individualized brain cell grafts reverse Parkinson’s symptoms in monkeys

Grafting neurons grown from monkeys’ own cells into their brains relieved the debilitating movement and depression symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison reported today. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine the UW team describes its success with neurons made from cells from the monkeys’ own bodies after reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells. UW–Madison neuroscientist Su-Chun Zhang, whose Waisman Center lab grew the brain cells, said this approach avoided complications with the primates’ immune systems and takes an important step toward a treatment for millions of human Parkinson’s patients. Learn more about their work here.
March 1, 2021

UW vision researchers partner with U.S. Department of Defense to develop stem cell therapy for combat-related eye injuries

The project, led by David Gamm, MD, PhD, director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, will develop a transplantable patch to restore vision to members of the armed forces who have been injured by blasts or lasers.
December 11, 2020

New Visualization Method Gets to the Heart of Parkinson’s Disease

This week, the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs highlights Dr. Marina Emborg, her WNPRC lab team and their UW–Madison colleagues’ advances in detecting heart disease in Parkinson’s and evaluating new therapies that specifically target nerve disease within the human heart.
December 2020

Celebrating 25 Years of Embryonic Stem Cell Research at UW–Madison

It’s been 25 years since University of Wisconsin–Madison scientist James Thomson became the first in the world to successfully isolate and culture primate embryonic stem cells. He accomplished this breakthrough first with nonhuman primates at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in 1995, using rhesus monkey cells, then in 1996 with marmoset cells. Thomson then published his world-changing breakthrough on human embryonic stem cell derivation in Science on Nov. 6, 1998.
November 6, 2020

Study points way to possible new treatment for ligament injuries

“EEMs and exosomes each have attractive characteristics as therapeutics,” Dr. Hematti, UW-Madison’s Department of Medicine, noted.” As a cell therapy, EEMs will not proliferate or differentiate to undesirable cell types, which remains a concern for many stem cell therapies. Moreover, EEMs could be generated from a patient’s own monocytes using off-the-shelf exosomes, resulting in a faster and more facile process compared to autologous MSCs. Alternatively, exosome therapy could be a cell free, shelf-stable therapeutic to deliver biologically active components.” “Altogether, we believe our studies’ results support the use of EEMs and/or exosomes to improve ligament healing by modulating inflammation and tissue remodeling,” Dr. Vanderby concluded.
November 3, 2020

Stem cells can repair Parkinson’s-damaged circuits in mouse brains

University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers, led by UW–Madison neuroscientist Su-Chun Zhang, demonstrated a proof-of-concept stem cell treatment in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. They found that neurons derived from stem cells can integrate well into the correct regions of the brain, connect with native neurons and restore motor functions. The findings have been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
September 24, 2020


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