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Kent State University and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute Collaborate on Research Funding

Posted Sep. 16, 2013

Kent State University and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute will co-fund two pilot research projects as part of an initiative to enhance collaborations between the two institutions. Following a competitive review process, two teams comprising researchers from each institution will receive $100,000 each for collaborative research that will lead to co-submission of grant proposals to federal and nonfederal agencies.

“These pilot funding awards are the result of a Kent State University – Lerner Research Institute initiative that started in 2012,” says Grant McGimpsey, Ph.D., vice president for research at Kent State. “Our goal is to accelerate research partnerships and funding opportunities in biomedical science by leveraging expertise at both institutions.”

“As federal research funding becomes increasingly competitive, collaborations are the key to advancing research discoveries,” says Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., Lerner Research Institute chair. “By pooling expertise from several disciplines, we will tackle important research questions from every possible angle.”

George Muschler, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, Christopher Malcuit, Ph.D., from Kent State’s Department of Biological Sciences, and Malcolm C. Moos, M.D., Ph.D., from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, will collaborate on a study titled “Predictors of Biological Potency of Human Connective Tissue Progenitors (CTPs) – Application to Rapid Processing Methods for Progenitor Cell Isolation and Purification.”

With this project, the researchers seek to advance the field of connective tissue progenitor cell (CTP) biology and the role of regenerating injured or diseased tissues. Specifically, they intend to develop rapid in vitro methods for identifying and characterizing CTPs with desired biological potential (for example, the ability to differentiate into bone-forming cells). The methods will enable rapid targeted selection and isolation of CTPs for both research and therapeutic applications.

Wen-Hai Chou, Ph.D., and Derek Damron, Ph.D., both from Kent State’s Department of Biological Sciences, and Keith McCrae, M.D., of Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Taussig Cancer Institute, will study the pathogenesis of stroke, with the goal of developing novel treatment interventions.

Their project, titled “Prevention of Reperfusion Injury in Ischemic Stroke: Role of High Molecular Weight Kininogen and PKC Delta,” will combine the strengths of McCrae in vascular biology and biochemistry, Damron in calcium signaling, and Chou in protein kinase C biology and mouse stroke models.

Kent State has internationally recognized researchers in several areas of biology and biomedicine, including neurobiology and cell and molecular biology. Lerner Research Institute is home to all laboratory, translational and clinical research at Cleveland Clinic, a top 4 U.S. hospital.

Kent State and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute maintain a cooperative graduate training program leading to a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences. Together, both institutions offer world-class facilities to support the most modern training opportunities for students interested in biomedical research careers.