X Grants: Gregory to provide project update

Principal investigators will represent 81 faculty members during inaugural President’s Excellence Fund Symposium on April 4
March 29, 2019

Carl Gregory, PhD, an associate professor in the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, is one of eight faculty members from Texas A&M University scheduled to make presentations during the inaugural President’s Excellence Fund Symposium  Thursday, April 4, 1:30–4:50 p.m. in the Frymire Auditorium at the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

Gregory will present “Novel Approaches to Stem Cell Manufacture.” The event requires no registration and is open to the public at no charge.

Each speaker leads an interdisciplinary team that earned project funding from the first round of Texas A&M’s X-Grants program, an initiative of the 10-year, $100 million President’s Excellence Fund.

The eight projects shared $7 million in funding during the first round. They represent 81 faculty members and other researchers from eight colleges, four schools and two state agencies.

The symposium will feature a keynote speech from Cecelia Conrad, managing director of the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. At noon, teams that received first-round funding from the T3: Texas A&M Triads for Transformation program will present their project updates during a poster session in Room 1011 B and C of the conference center.

About the project: Novel approaches to stem cell manufacture

With an increased prevalence of chronic, inflammatory and age-related disease, there is an unmet need to provide novel and effective therapies that cure, rather than treat symptomatically. Gregory and his interdisciplinary team are approaching this challenge by generating new cures based on cell-therapy. Cell-therapies, or cytotherapies, rely on administration of laboratory-grown cells to promote tissue healing, regulate the immune system and kill malignant cells.

Cell-therapy has seen a fourfold increase in clinical trials over the last 15 years. Cell-based therapies have been adopted for the treatment of patients with immunological disorders, bone marrow failure and some forms of cancer.

However, as these needs increase, there are technical issues that will hold back the large-scale manufacture of cytotherapeutic products. To address this, Gregory and his group are working to develop a modern platform for therapeutic cell manufacture at Texas A&M University.

This platform will incorporate several innovative technologies pioneered by Texas A&M researchers that improve the reproducibility, cost effectiveness and scalability of manufacture. Initial efforts will be directed toward the manufacture of adult mesenchymal stem cells, which have the capacity to treat several diseases and tissue trauma, but the technology will be compatible with most therapeutic cell types.

 

— Katherine Hancock