Global Expert in Lung Disease Joins Cedars-Sinai to Lead New Stem Cell Research Program

Researcher brings with him $5M CIRM leadership award grant

Los Angeles – June 11, 2013 – Barry R. Stripp, PhD, a recognized expert in lung disease and stem cell research, has been named director of the new Lung Stem Cell Research Program that spans the Women’s Guild Lung Institute and the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

Stripp comes to Cedars-Sinai from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., where he has been professor in both the Department of Medicine and in Cell Biology since 2006. At Duke University Medical Center, Stripp was a member of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, led by Paul W. Noble, MD, who is now chair of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai. The recruitment of Stripp and Noble to Cedars-Sinai brings two leaders in lung disease research whose highly interactive programs have potential to develop new treatments.

In May 2013, Stripp received a $5 million Research Leadership Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for his innovative strategies in stem cell technology and regenerative medicine. This award was granted to six world-class scientists and was created to help California universities and research institutions recruit the best stem cell scientists in the world.

“The recruitment of Stripp to Cedars-Sinai and his recent CIRM grant are a reflection of his superb credentials and recognized contributions to the field of lung disease, regenerative medicine and stem cell technology,” said Noble. “We are pleased to welcome an outstanding scientist and educator of his stature to Cedars-Sinai and trust his contributions will result in improved treatments for patients locally and globally.”

Stripp’s expertise will play a pivotal role in the new Cedars-Sinai stem cell research program, which launched in late 2012 and is a part of the Regenerative Medicine Institute. Focused on lung disease, including pulmonary disease, the division will bring together researchers and clinicians to discuss stem cell therapies in lung disease, provide core services that generate clinically relevant stem cell populations and use disease-specific stem cells to explore mechanisms of cell death in human lung disorders.

“With funding from the CIRM grant and support from the leadership staff at Cedars-Sinai, I look forward to enhancing both the translational research component and clinical management of lung disease,” said Stripp. “These collaborative efforts will provide new therapeutic and surgical interventions for patients suffering from debilitating lung diseases that currently lack effective treatment options.”

Stripp’s research interests focus on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung injury and repair. Defects in the maintenance and differentiation of epithelia lining small airways are commonly observed in chronic lung disease and represent a therapeutic target for interventions aimed at restoring lung function. His work has defined microenvironments within airways that maintain a population of adult tissue stem cells.

“Through the work of Dr. Stripp and the new Lung Stem Cell Research Program, we will be able to determine how lung disease is caused,” said Zab Mosenifar, MD, co-medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Guild Lung Institute. “This understanding will lead to new therapies that may prevent the initiation or the progression of lung disease, which is the third most likely cause of death in the United States.”

Since opening in 2010, under the direction of Clive Svendsen, PhD, the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has received more than $30 million of grant support from the state stem cell agency. These grants have provided research funds for diseases of the central nervous system and skeleton, along with funding for novel development of stem cell technology.

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