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Clemson researcher receives Michael J. Fox Foundation grant

The nation has watched Michael J. Fox grow from a tie-wearing teen in “Family Ties” into a leader in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. His battle is coming to Clemson University.

Clemson professor Xuejun Wen is one of four researchers who have received funds from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to discover ways of using human stem cells to find a cure for Parkinson’s.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has announced that Clemson professor Xuejun Wen is one of four recipients of funding to use human stem cells to find a cure for Parkinson’s. The disease affects 1 million people in the United States, and 50,000 more each year. Wen is a professor of bioengineering, cell biology and anatomy at Clemson, but works at the Medical University of South Carolina through the CU-MUSC Bioengineering Program.

Wen’s lab is developing “cocktails” to induce specialization of human stem cells into different types of cells aimed at the cure for many diseases and injuries. If successful, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes, heart and brain strokes and spinal cord injuries could be reduced.

The use of human stem cells to supply specialized cells to repair the body is one aspect of regenerative medicine, a branch of bioengineering that uses knowledge of how cells form, specialize and organize to repair or replace damaged tissue and organs.

Clemson, MUSC and the University of South Carolina have a biomedical engineering partnership that could make South Carolina a leader in regenerative medicine and bioengineering technology.

 



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