Functional endothelial cells from human embryonic stem cells for therapeutic vasculogenesis

Funding Type: 
SEED Grant
Grant Number: 
ICOC Funds Committed: 
Stem Cell Use: 
Embryonic Stem Cell
Public Abstract: 
The work proposed here will explore stem and progenitor cell populations important for therapeutic angiogenesis and vasculogenesis (new blood vessel growth). This work is especially relevant to cardiac repair following a heart attack, but will contribute to the building a vascular supply for tissue enginneered organs.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
The research proposed here could result in new techniques and methodology for the differentiation of endothelial cells optimal for therapeutic vasculogenesis. The citizens of California could benefit from this research in three ways. Some may benefit from the potential for new medical therapies. Others may benefit indirectly from the potential for these technologies to bring new business ventures to the state of California. The third benefit is the education of the students involved in this study, especially in the Central Valley.
Progress Report: 
  • The grant investigates to grow human neural progenitor cells by manipulating Ryk-mediated Wnt signaling. We discovered that Ryk signaling regulates neurogenesis and cleavage of Ryk is important for this processes.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson, as well as neuronal injuries caused by stroke or trauma, result in neuronal cell loss. Current treatments cannot replace or repair the damaged cells. Our proposed research may ultimately lead to the development of an effective treatment for neuronal cell loss.
  • We have set up an effective system for growing neural progenitor cells derived from human ES cells. We have performed experiments aimed at expanding neural stem cell populations and growing neurons. This could lead to many possible clinical applications.
  • Transplant-ready neuronal tissues, gene therapies, and drugs targeting the Wnt pathway in order to promote neuronal regeneration are some of the treatments for neurological disorders that may be possible in the future. Our findings will facilitate the progress of developing these new, promising treatments. The success of our project in neural progenitor cell expansion could greatly improve the quality of life for Californians and people everywhere.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine