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Kansas State University

Comparative Stem Cell Biology

 

stem cell

 

Integrating education and commercialization with research on umbilical cord and related stem cells in humans and with research on umbilical cord stem cell and other stem cell sources in agricultural, companion, and competitive animals.

Purpose

The Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biology exists to further basic and applied research in stem cells and related biotechnology in animals and humans and to extend that discovery through education and commercialization. The institute is uniquely situated to leverage research capabilities through collaboration among Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and the Kansas University Medical Center, and scientists with similar interests at other institutions.

The institute has strong potential for economic development and attainment of external funding. It positions basic research, discovery and development of specific applications, commercialization and education in a strong scientific environment with the further purpose of partnering with other research institutions and with corporate and governmental entities with related activities and interests.

History

The Institute is created on the strength of discovery, by Kansas State University scientists, of unique stem cells within the umbilical cord matrix of humans and several animal species. These cells have been shown to have remarkable adaptive capacity. Kansas State University has a patent pending on methods to harvest, grow and store umbilical cord matrix stem cells and the use of matrix cells for therapy, tissue engineering and biotechnology. This foundational research has identified, and stands to make available, a plentiful and potentially low cost source of stem cells that are extremely adaptable and free of ethical controversy. The institute connects this initial discovery with a strong array of related biotechnological research and development.

Thus the Institute, is well positioned to contribute to the development of important stem cell technologies and to participate in the economic benefits that will be associated with stem cell research and applications in animal agriculture and in human and animal medicine.

As of 2005, use-specific licenses have been awarded to two commercial entities, one in human medicine and one in equine medicine. In addition, one startup company has been initiated.

Specific Goals

In addition to basic comparative research, the Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biology has the following initial research goals:

  • Create new tools for treatment of degenerative and other diseases in humans and companion and competitive animals

  • Develop technologies for production of pharmaceutical and biological agents

  • Create high throughput techniques for safety testing of pharmaceutical and biological agents

  • Enhance food safety

  • Increase efficiency of animal-based food production

  • Preserve endangered species

These research goals are complemented by:

  • Creation and furtherance of education and training in this field of biological research and commercialization

  • Development and commercialization of intellectual property resulting from the research program

Organization

The institute is comprised of three components, briefly described below.

Research

The primary focus of the Institute’s research program is stem cell biology and related technology. Major progress has already been made in discovery, characterization and application of remarkably adaptive and plentiful cord matrix cells not heretofore realized. The collaboration among scientists addressing both human and animal research goals contributes to a strong comparative medical environment. Efforts include both basic and applied research supported by federal and state funding and through collaboration with other public and private entities. Projects funded by or through the institute are interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature. A strong assembly of affiliated research scientists contributes to this effort.

The northeastern Kansas science environment offers major collaborative and funding relationships in which the Institute does or will participate. Prominent among these are the Kansas University and its Medical Center, the Stowers Medical Research Institute, the Higuchi Biosciences Center, the Midwest Research Institute and the Kansas Biosciences Authority.

The research and educational programs foster an intellectually stimulating, collaborative environment. The university and its associated organizations have facilities on and off campus that can contribute effectively to this effort. In addition to traditional on-campus laboratories, offices and conference rooms, the K-State Alumni Center is a world class facility for social events and workshops. Rock Springs Ranch and the Konza Prairie provide unique and outstanding remote conference and workshop facilities.

Education and training

The institute envisions development of educational programs to provide training for the diverse careers afforded by the growing biotechnology industry including stem cell technologies. Graduate degree and graduate certificate programs in stem cell research and related biotechnology are planned. These will be accompanied by post-doctoral fellowships and technician training programs. Customized courses in intellectual property commercialization will be offered in conjunction with the College of Business. At the masters level, the College of Business already has an intern program in conjunction with the Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) and the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization (NISTAC). The Institute is associated with, and plans to build upon, this collaborative program. Undergraduate programs in biotechnology are being developed in the College of Agriculture to train students for direct entry into the relevant industries, or for further education in professional or graduate programs. The institute plans to develop an internship or similar co-operative opportunity program with regional biotechnology and bio-pharmaceutical companies.

Entrepreneurship

Dr. Mark Weiss
Dr. Mark Weiss

A founding premise of the Institute is that research findings contribute to societal benefit and economic development only when they are made available to the public. This happens through private commercial and governmental sources. Thus development of intellectual property through commercial relationships is a prominent complementary feature of the institute. This is accomplished through affiliation with an existing intellectual property development structure comprised of Kansas State University, KSURF and NISTAC, NISTAC serves as the commercialization arm of KSURF. This is one of the top university-affiliated development and commercialization organizations in the United States with a solid track record based on eleven years of experience, originally as the Mid-American Commercialization Corporation, now reconfigured into NISTAC. Established three years ago, NISTAC is a cooperative state, community and university entity and holds corporate patents valued at more than $400M.

Funding

The Kansas State Legislature has appropriated funding that supports many ongoing stem cell-related research projects.   In addition, examples of other funding sources are listed below. 

NSF  DMR – 1242765  Dual PI (Stefan Bossmann and Deryl Troyer)
CREATIV: Neutrophil delivery of apoptosis-inducing drugs.
11/1/12-10/31/15

NSF CBET 1159966    Dual PI (Stefan Bossmann and Deryl Troyer)
Extending the luminescence lifetime in breast cancer diagnostics  
 01/01/13-12/31/12

NSF-CBET 933701 Dual PI (Stefan Bossmann and Deryl Troyer):  Renilla Transfected stem cells as light source for In-Situ Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer.    1/01/10-12/31/12

NIH CHHSN26100800059C Phase II from the Small Business Innovation Research Development Center (SBIR) of the National Cancer Institute.  Kroh F, NanoScale Corp., PI;  Bossmann S Co-PI, Troyer D, Co-PI, Gadbury G, Co-PI.  Low-Toxicity Nanomaterials for treatment and detection of cancer.    01/01/11-12/31/12

USDA Davis D (PI), Troyer D (Co-PI), Grieger D (Co-PI): “Stem cells and pluripotency in farm animals”  USDA HATCH #KS413, 10/01/08-9/30/13.
 
Legislative Appropriation Troyer D (PI), Davis D (PI), Weiss M (PI): Postnatal stem cells derived from Wharton’s Jelly of the umbilical cord.  Kansas State Legislative Appropriation, 7/1/06-present. 

Previously funded:

Bioscience Authority (Collaborative Cancer Research Initiative; CCRI).  Tamura M (PI); Troyer D (Co-PI); Weiss M (Collaborator); Marini F (Collaborator):  Umbilical cord matrix stem cell-based gene therapy for pancreatic cancer.  12/31/09-12/30/11.

NIH P20 RRO16475  Troyer D, PI
Novel paradigm using monocytes with magnetic nanoparticles and Sn-38 in melanoma.   5/01/2010-4/30/2012.

NSF STTR Bossman S (PI), Chikan V (Co-PI), Troyer D (Co-PI): Intelligent low toxicity materials for cancer diagnosis and treatment. NanoScale Coporation (NSF phase I STTR and Kansas Bioscience Authority flowdown)  7/01-09-6/30/10.

NIH COBRE Tamura M (PI), Troyer D (Co-Invest),  Nanoparticle-based dual gene therapy for lung adenocarcinoma.  NIH P20 RR015563,National Center for Research Resources, University of Kansas Experimental Therapeutics COBRE, 10/01/08-9/30/2010

NIH R21 Troyer D (PI), Tamura M (Co-Invest), Hua D (Co-Invest): Stem cells as vehicles for therapeutic nanoparticle delivery to breast cancer.  NIH 1R21CA135599.  5/1/2008-4/30/2010

 

Founding Fellows
 

Drs. Deryl Troyer and Mark Weiss
Drs. Deryl Troyer and Mark Weiss

The Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biology is founded on the initial research of Professors Duane Davis ( KSU College of Agriculture), Deryl Troyer and Mark Weiss (KSU College of Veterinary Medicine) and Dr. Kathy Mitchell of the University of Kansas. These four individuals are designated Founding Fellows. In addition to these four scientists, the following Fellows contribute to the critical mass of high quality science that characterizes the institute: (partial list)
 

Fellows

Dr. Stefan Bossmann, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Terrry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Related expertise: mycobacterial porins and their targeted delivery to tumors via stem cells.

Dr. Viktor Chikan, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Reltated expertise: synthesis of magnetic core/shell nanoparticles suitable for loading into stem cells and delivery to tumors for generation of magnetic hyperthermia.

Dr. Michael Detamore, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Kansas University. Relevant expertise: tissue engineering of bone and cartilage.

Dr. David Grieger, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science and Industry, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University. Related expertise: bovine reproductive physiology reproductive technology and molecular endocrinology.

Dr. Duy Hua, KSU Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Related expertise: selective delivery of anticancer drugs utilizing nanogel or nanoparticles with stem cells; development of novel small-molecule anti-cancer drugs.

Dr. Bradley Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Muscle cell culture in food animals, RNA Quantification, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay. Interests include elucidating factors important in food animal muscle growth and development.

Dr. Jeff Katz, Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, Kansas State University. Related expertise: technology commercialization, strategic planning, strategy development, business planning and performance assessment.

Dr. Shuting Lei, Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, Kansas State University. Relevant expertise: manufacturing systems.

Dr. Dingbo Lin, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Protein kinase C gamma in optic nerve and cerebellum. Using stem cells to investigate the function of PKCg in neuroprotection.

Dr. J.P. Perchellet, Professor, Division of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Relative expertise: Development and testing of novel small molecule anti-cancer drugs; investigation of mechanisms involved in anti-cancer effect.

Dr. Duane Davis
Dr. Duane Davis

Dr. David Poole, Professor, Departments of Kinesiology, College of Arts and Sciences and Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Relevant expertise: Muscle physiology spanning both cardiac and skeletal muscle, with emphasis on effects of exercise.

Dr. Gita N. Ramaswamy, Professor, Department of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University. Related Expertise: Nanowebs of Hyaluronic acid complexed with poly-lactic acid, polyglycollic acid and collagen for wound healing and tissue engineering.

Dr. Walter Renberg, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Orthopedic surgery with a specific interest in using canine cord matrix cells in enhancement of fracture and tendon repair. Interests include blood vessel synthesis and transplantation.

Dr. Thomas Schermerhorn, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Beta cell insulin secretion and clinical companion animal diabetes, using stem cells to study development of beta cell exocytotic pathways and as a potential treatment of naturally-occurring diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats.

Dr. X. Susan Sun, Professor, Bio-Materials & Technology Lab, Department of Grain Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Bio-based polymers and composites, including thermal and rheological behaviors and functional properties of cereal related polymeric ingredients in adhesives, plastics and composites.

Dr. Dee Takemoto, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Biochemist and molecular biologist working in vision and ophthalmology, specifically retinal biology and the use of stem cells in the repair and replacement of retinal cells.

Dr. Kathy Mitchell
Dr. Kathy Mitchell

Dr. Masaaki Tamura, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Relevant expertise: Protein chemist working in the area of angiotensin and its signaling in lung and colon cancer.

Dr. Melinda Wilkerson, Associate Professor and Director of Flow Cytometry/Clinical Immunology Laboratory, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Flow cytometry and the separation of stem cells into discrete populations.

Dr. Carol Wyatt, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Flow Cytometry Facility, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Related expertise: Flow cytometry and the separation of stem cells into discrete populations.

As an on-going principle, scientists who are principle investigators in externally funded grants coming to the institute will be designated as fellows. Other collaborators with related research interests will be designated associate fellows.

Governance and Administration

The Institute operates under the administrative authority of the Kansas State University Vice Provost for Research. Direction, oversight and guidance are provided within that venue by the vice provost, an executive committee and a liaison committee.

The Executive Committee is comprised initially of:

  • Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Associate Director of Research, K-State Research and Extension

  • Head, Department of Anatomy and Physiology

  • Head, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry

  • Head, Department of Clinical Sciences

  • Head, Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology

  • Designee, NISTAC and KSURF

  • Dr. Duane Davis, Founding Fellow, Department of Animal Sciences

  • Dr. Deryl Troyer, Founding Fellow, Department of Anatomy and Physiology

  • Dr. Mark Weiss, Founding Fellow, Department of Anatomy and Physiology

  • Dr. Kathy Mitchell, Founding Fellow, University of Kansas

  • Dr. Jeff Katz, Fellow, MBA program, College of Business Administration

  • Dr. Charles Decedue, Executive Director, Higuchi Biosciences Center, KU Lawrence

  • Dr. David Albertini, Professor, KUMC

  • Executive Director as appointed by the Liaison Committee

Administrative executive committee members serve by virtue of their office. Fellows serve three year terms, that may be repeated one time consecutively.

The Liaison Committee is comprised initially of:

  • Vice Provost for Research

  • Dean of the College of Agriculture/Director, Agriculture Experiment Station

  • Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Dr. Joan Hunt, Vice Chancellor for Research, KUMC

Other deans or representatives of other organizations and institutions may be added as indicated by degree of participation.