April 8, 2013
Kim O'Connor received the 2013 Elmer Gaden Award from Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and presented an award lecture at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Biochemical Technology (BIOT) national meeting on April 8, 2013, entitled, "The heterogeneity of mesenchymal stem cells and its implications for regenerative therapies." This annual award is presented in honor of the founding editor Elmer L. Gaden, Jr., for a "high-impact paper reflecting exceptional innovation, creativity, and originality" in Biotechnology and Bioengineering as determined by the editorial board. Past recipients include James Bailey, James Swartz, Jonathan Dordick, Mark Davis, and E. Terry Papoutsakis.
The award-winning paper is entitled “Clonal analysis of the proliferation potential of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a function of potency.” Mesenchymal stem cells are a promising source of adult stem cells for regenerative medicine; however, their intrinsic heterogeneity confounds development of stem cell therapies. The paper is a seminal work that enables the resolution of the heterogeneity of mesenchymal stem cells at a molecular level and serves as template to deconvolute the heterogeneity of other types of stem cells. The long-term goal of this research is to identify a molecular signature or phenotype of specific stem cell subsets to produce efficacious stem cell therapies in a cost- and time-efficient manner.
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