Scientists secure funding to advance stem cell research at Glasgow

Published: 1 July 2010

Andy Baker and Jo Mountford receive more than £500,000 to help develop the university’s collaborative cardiovascular stem cell programme.

Scientists at Glasgow have been awarded more than £500,000 to further their cardiovascular stem cell research.

Andy Baker, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Glasgow BHF Cardiovascular Research Centre, and Dr Jo Mountford of the Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, have received two grants - from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Professor Baker said the funding was extremely significant to the stem cell research effort at Glasgow.

He said: "On behalf of the research group, whose co-applicants include Professors Peter Adams and Miles Houslay and Costanza Emmanueli at the University of Bristol, I can say that we are all delighted to have been awarded these grants to develop our cardiovascular stem cell programme.

"This funding will allow us to interrogate the basic science and translation aspects relating to the derivation of human vascular endothelial cells from human embryonic stem cells."

Human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) hold broad potential in regenerative medicine. Such cells can generate all cell types upon stimulation to differentiate along defined cell commitment pathways.

The Glasgow research group, along with collaborators in Bristol, are interested in the mechanisms that govern the stimulation of these cells into vascular endothelial cells and their subsequent application to regenerative medicine.

Dr Mountford added: “When cells are stimulated in this way certain 'pathways' are activated and new genes are transcribed from DNA into RNA and then to protein. We are particularly interested in finding out what controls these steps and in this project we will address this important issue and, importantly, manipulate them to refine and optimise cardiac and vascular endothelium commitment.”

The BHF Special grant will see one technician and one post doctoral postion created in Glasgow and one post-doctoral position in Bristol.

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First published: 1 July 2010

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