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UConn Health Cell and Genome Sciences
400 Farmington Avenue

2010 State Stem Cell Funding

$1,000,000 – Generation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells and T-cell Progenitors from Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

Laijun Lai, Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, UConn Health.

To induce human ES (and iPS) cells to differentiate in vitro into blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells and lymphocyte (T cell) progenitors that can reconstitute the lymphoid hematopoietic systems of immunodeficient mice (and ultimately human).


$992,500 – Modeling Parkinson’s Disease Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

James Li, Assistant Professor and Associate Director, Graduate Program in Genetics and Genome Sciences, UConn Health.

To study the origin and development of Parkinson’s disease by generating human embryonic stem cells and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells carrying mutant proteins of the disease. Then by adding new genes to embryonic stem cells, or silencing genes in these cells, Li will seek ways to modify the embryonic stem cells for therapy.


$500,000 – Stem Cell Physiology and Chemistry Core.

Srdjan Antic, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Graduate School, UConn Health.

To provide Connecticut Stem Cell Grant Awardees with state-of-the-art equipment, expertise and service for physiological evaluation of stem-cell-derived cell lines of all types (blood, cardiovascular, muscle, bone and neuron), with special emphasis on the neuronal chemistry and physiology.


$200,000 – To Develop Efficient Methodologies to Generate Customized Anti-tumor Effecter T-cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by TCR Engineering Approach.

Arvind Chhabra, Department of Medicine, UConn Health.

To develop efficient methodologies to generate customized anti-tumor effecter T cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) by TCR engineering approach, for an effective cancer immunotherapy.


$200,000 – Discovering Treatments to Prevent Neurodegeneration in Huntington’s Disease Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Patient-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Carolyn Drazinic, Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Genetics and Genome Sciences, UConn Health.

To find a possible treatment for Huntington’s disease, by using IPSC technology to form patient-derived neurons and testing small molecules for inhibition or reversal of the disease process.


$200,000 – Generation of a Novel Source of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis.

Rosa Guzzo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Orthopaedics, UConn Health.

To generate a novel source of inducible pluripotent cells (iPS) to repair cartilage damage.


$200,000 – Regulating Caspase Activity to Enhance Differentiation Efficiency of Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

Xiaofang Wang, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Stem Cell Core Lab, UConn Health.

To study the role of caspase-3 in hES cell differentiation and to enhance the differentiation efficiency by regulating caspase-3 activity.


$199,945 – Generation of Layer V Pyramidal Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

Radmila Filopovic, Research Professor, Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, UConn.

To develop methodology for generation of layer v pyramidal neurons which will integrate into host brain upon transplantation.


$199,894 – Nuclear Receptor Control of Human Epidermal Stem Cells.

Brian Aneskevich, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, UConn.

To improve chronic and acute human skin wound repair by studying epidermal stem cell responses to dietary and clinical ligands following their application to cells in laboratory petri dish model systems.