KSU, NEOMED scientists collaborate on program

Staff report


A team of scientists from Kent State University and Northeast Ohio Medical University has begun collaboration on the development of a macrophage targeted mesenchymal stem-cell therapy for tissue regeneration and wound healing, a fast-growing research area and major medical challenge.

The $120,000 internally funded program, with equal contributions from both Kent State and NEOMED, will support a post-doctoral researcher for a period of two years and is part of Kent State’s new internal post doctoral fellow seed program.

The team of principal investigators for this project is Min-Ho Kim and Christopher Malcuit, professors from Kent State’s new bioengineering program in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology (formerly known as the College of Technology) and Fayez F. Safadi, professor of anatomy and neurobiology and Ohio Research Scholar at NEOMED.

“Post-operative wounds or chronic wounds caused by underlying disease or lowered immunity have high morbidity and significant mortality,” said Grant McGimpsey, Kent State’s vice president for research.

“Finding ways to address these problems based on regenerative medicine approaches is an exciting effort, and I am very excited about our growing research relationship with NEOMED.

“The Northeast Ohio region is rich in biomedical research and development opportunities, and it is imperative that research institutions like Kent State and NEOMED develop strong partnerships in order to bring our combined expertise to bear on important medical challenges.

“This project is one example of what I expect to be a growing number of inter-institutional relationships in our region. The particular project that Professors Kim, Malcuit and Safadi are pursuing is an excellent example of the kinds of collaborative partnerships we want to create,” McGimpsey said.

Malcuit expressed his appreciation for the collaboration.

“I am grateful and honored by the combined support from both Kent State University and NEOMED in fostering this exciting interdisciplinary project to identify therapeutic targets to treat individuals suffering from acute and chronic wounds,” he said. “I envision the successful outcome of this collaboration to be just the beginning of much larger future research efforts between our two institutions in the area of regenerative medicine.”

Safadi also is enthusiastic.

“It is a great opportunity to initiate such collaboration with the talented faculty at Kent State,” he said. “I am very excited about this program, and we are on our way to develop a great relationship with Kent State.”

For Kim, the partnership between the two institutions creates great opportunity.

“This is a really valuable opportunity in that this research partnership can bring together and maximize the research strengths in stem-cell/ tissue engineering at Kent State and in biomedical sciences at NEOMED,” he said.

Walter E. Horton Jr., vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at NEOMED, said the program helps the working relationship between the two institutions for future ongoing research partnerships.

“This is a very important first step in building ongoing research collaboration between Kent State University and NEOMED,” he said.

“Both Kent State and NEOMED have strengths in bioscience research, and by working together, we can more rapidly identify breakthroughs that will improve the health and economic vitality of our region,” Horton said.

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