Identifying Ways to Control Stem Cell Behavior to Improve Regenerative Therapies in Horses
Dr. Jennifer Cassano, a combined DVM/PhD degree student, received a training fellowship from the Morris Animal Foundation for her project entitled, “Macrophage Regulation of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function in Tissue Regeneration.” Morris Animal Foundation fellowship training grants provide salary support for training opportunities that will produce biomedical scientists committed to a career in companion animal or wildlife research.
Stem cells have the potential to treat a wide variety of inflammatory and degenerative diseases in animals; however, little is known about how the recipient’s body possibly affects the expression and function of transplanted stem cells. To fill this knowledge gap, Dr. Cassano will investigate how macrophages, which are white blood cells naturally found in injured tissue sites targeted for therapy, influence the function of transplanted stem cells. This new information may help researchers identify ways to control stem cell behavior after transplantation and improve regenerative stem cell therapies in horses and other animals.