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GEN News Highlights : May 4, 2012

University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute Awarded $10M

Grant from The Starr Foundation will go toward 13 clinical trials and preclinical work.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) today announced that it received a $10 million grant from The Starr Foundation. The money will support ISCI in broadening its preclinical and clinical research on stem cells.

ISCI is currently leading 13 clinical trials evaluating the use of stem cells in patients with conditions including congestive heart failure, skin wounds, burns, pulmonary fibrosis, and stroke. The Poseidon clinical trial, an ongoing Phase I/II study, is designed to compare the effects of autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with allogeneic MSCs in patients with heart failure. This NIH-sponsored study is reportedly the first clinical trial to compare autologous to allogeneic stem cells.

Commenting on The Starr Foundation grant, Joshua M. Hare, M.D., Louis Lemberg professor of medicine at the Miller School of Medicine and director of ISCI, says, “This support along with our growing NIH funding, technology transfer, and other philanthropic efforts guarantees the stability of ISCI through the end of the decade and will allow us to continue to push the boundaries of regenerative medicine with the goal of improving human health.”

Maurice R. Greenberg, chairman of The Starr Foundation, adds, “The Starr Foundation has had long ties to the University of Miami, and our total grants including the endowed C. V. Starr Scholarship Fund now total more than $15.5 million.”