National Institutes of Health awards Penn cell biologist $5.2 million for lung regeneration research

lung regeneration

Penn Medicine researchers, along with colleagues at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Boston University, have received a $5.2 million, 7-year grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The aim of the grant is to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote lung regeneration.

It will help develop treatments for children with congenital lung diseases and adults whose lungs have been damaged from smoking, genetic defects, and acute injury.

The Penn-Cincinnati Children’s-Boston University research group is one of 7 new research hubs that will comprise the new Progenitor Cell Translational Consortium.

This Consortium will bring together multidisciplinary researchers in the heart, lung, blood, and technology fields from different institutions.

Recipient institutions will receive a total of $40 million over the next 7 years. The Consortium’s focus will be on translating advances in progenitor cell biology to new treatments for heart, lung, and blood diseases.

The Penn component of the consortium is led by Edward Morrisey, PhD, the Robinette Foundation Professor of Medicine.

He is a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and the director of the Penn Center for Pulmonary Biology, in the Perelman School of Medicine. Edward Morrisey is also the scientific director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The Penn research team will examine both pediatric and adult populations since many children suffer from chronic lung diseases such as severe asthma and cystic fibrosis.

In adults, they will determine whether they can harness the innate ability of the lung to repair and regenerate to treat chronic lung diseases as well as acute injury.

Ultimately, they hope to use lung stem and progenitor cells for treatment of various forms of lung disease.

News source: Penn Medicine.
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