2009 HSCI Seed Grant Recipients Announced

For the fifth consecutive year, HSCI awarded seed grants to scientists throughout the Harvard community to provide critical early funding for stem cell research. In May, eight seed grants totaling nearly $1.5 million were awarded to investigators selected from a large pool of applicants across the HSCI-affiliated institutions.

HSCI's Seed Grant Program provides two years of funding for projects in areas of stem cell research that will advance HSCI's mission. A multi-institutional panel conducts a rigorous review process with the difficult task of selecting a set of the most promising projects from many superbly qualified applications. Highest priority is given to projects that are difficult to fund from other sources because they are early stage, high risk, or lack sufficient preliminary data.

Continuing federal funding restrictions for the creation of new human embryonic stem cell lines also make projects with such a component of interest to HSCI. The grants are also intended to support primarily junior faculty in the early stages of their independent careers, but also sometimes more senior faculty entering the field of stem cell research from another concentration.

This year's grants will support stem cell research in a variety of targeted disease areas, such as cancer, liver disease, nervous system disorders, and obesity, as well as research in broadly applicable areas of stem cell biology, such as DNA repair, embryonic stem cell differentiation, and bone formation. As HSCI continues its work to support and grow the clinician scientist community in stem cell research, we are pleased to announce that three of this year's recipients are MD/PhD scientists.

Goessling, Wolfram/North, Trista Brigham & Women's Hospital/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Isolating novel regulators of liver regeneration through a chemical genetic modifier screen in zebrafish
Johnson, Mark Damone Brigham & Women's Hospital Cancer Stem Cells in Meningiomas
Langenau, David Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging notch pathway requirements for symmetric vs. asymmetric self-renewal divisions in embryonal rhabdomy osarcoma
Ramanathan, Sharad Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University Studying decision making in single embryonic stem cells
Rossi, Derrick Immune Disease Institute In vivo reprogramming of lineage committed progenitor cells to hematopoietic stem cells
Tseng, Yu Hua Joslin Diabetes Center Identification and significance of brown fat progenitor cells
Weinstock, David Dana Farber Cancer Institute DNA double-strand break repair in human pluripotent cells
Yu, Paul Massachusetts General Hospital Identification of osteogenic progenitors in heterotopic ossification