Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by Jason Lamanna

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Jason Lamanna
PhD Proposal Presentation
Date: Monday, August 25, 2014
Time: 9am
Location: Emory University School of Medicine, Room 190P

Advisors: Nicholas Boulis, MD
John Oshinski, PhD

Committee Members:
Shawn Hochman, PhD
Shella Keilholz, PhD
Jacques Galipeau, MD

Title: MRI Visualization of Intraspinal Stem Cell Grafts: Tracking and Targeted Transplantation
Abstract: Multiple clinical investigations of stem cell-based therapies transplanted into the spinal cord are underway for a range of neurological diseases. However, the inability to confirm cell engraftment or identify cell grafts in postmortem human tissue creates unacceptable vulnerability to failure in these trials. Moreover, the current methods for transplantation remain highly invasive. Methods for visualizing grafts with MRI can overcome these barriers. We aim to develop a straightforward, rapidly translatable method to label human neural progenitor/stem cells with magnetic ferumoxytol nanoparticles. We will investigate the effect of ferumoxytol labeling on the cells and transplant them in to a large animal (porcine) spinal cord. We will assess the feasibility of in vivo, non-invasive cell graft tracking using MRI and post-mortem histological identification in a clinically relevant model. Finally, we will leverage this labeling and tracking approach to develop a minimally invasive, MRI-guided technique for targeted intraspinal stem cell graft transplantation.


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