KSU, NEOMED collaborate on wound research

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Scientists from Kent State University and Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown are collaborating on the development of a stem cell therapy for tissue regeneration and wound healing.

The $120,000 program, with equal funding from KSU and NEOMED, will support a post-doctoral researcher for two years and is part of KSU's new internal post-doctoral fellow seed program.

The team of principal investigators is Min-Ho Kim, Ph.D., and Christopher Malcuit, Ph.D., professors from KSU's new bioengineering program in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology and Fayez F. Safadi, Ph.D., NEOMED professor of anatomy and neurobiology and Ohio Research Scholar.

"Post-operative wounds or chronic wounds caused by underlying disease or lowered immunity have high morbidity and significant mortality," said Grant McGimpsey, KSU's vice president for research. "Finding ways to address these problems based on regenerative medicine approaches is an exciting effort, and I am very excited about our growing research relationship with NEOMED. The northeast Ohio region is rich in biomedical research and development opportunities, and it is imperative that research institutions like Kent State and NEOMED develop strong partnerships in order to bring our combined expertise to bear on important medical challenges."

Malcuit expressed his appreciation for this collaboration.

"I am grateful and honored by the combined support from both Kent State University and NEOMED in fostering this exciting interdisciplinary project to identify therapeutic targets to treat individuals suffering from acute and chronic wounds," he said. "I envision the successful outcome of this collaboration to be just the beginning of much larger future research efforts between our two institutions in the area of regenerative medicine."

Safadi shared his excitement.

"It is great opportunity to initiate such collaboration with the talented faculty at Kent State," he said. "I am very excited about this program, and we are on our way to develop a great relationship with Kent State."

For Kim, the partnership between the two institutions creates great opportunity.

"This is a really valuable opportunity in that this research partnership can bring together and maximize the research strengths in stem cell/ tissue engineering at Kent State and in biomedical sciences at NEOMED," Kim said.

Walter E. Horton Jr., Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at NEOMED, said this program helps the working relationship between the two institutions for future ongoing research partnerships.

"This is a very important first step in building ongoing research collaboration between Kent State University and NEOMED," he said. "Both Kent State and NEOMED have strengths in bioscience research, and by working together, we can more rapidly identify breakthroughs that will improve the health and economic vitality of our region."

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