Dr. Sarvetnick to lead UNMC's regenerative medicine efforts

by Tom O’Connor, UNMC public relations | November 09, 2010

Nora Sarvetnick, Ph.D., a stem cell researcher and transplant immunologist at UNMC, has been named director of the Nebraska Regenerative Medicine Project.

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Nora Sarvetnick, Ph.D.
The announcement was made by UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., who said Dr. Sarvetnick is the right person to move UNMC forward in the exciting field of regenerative medicine.

"Dr. Sarvetnick is an outstanding researcher with expertise in stem cells and immunology," he said. "She has a history of building projects and recruiting people, and that's what we will need in this new position."

Funding has been reallocated to the Nebraska Regenerative Medicine Project to allow Dr. Sarvetnick to recruit up to four regenerative medicine scientists, Dr. Maurer said.

He is hopeful that Dr. Sarvetnick will be able to generate more support through private donations.

Dr. Sarvetnick's file

Joined UNMC: 2008

Previous position: Professor of immunology, Scripps Research Institute, San Diego

Research Interests: Regeneration of the pancreas and intestines as well as liver cells. Much of her work has involved adult stem cells but she hopes to use embryonic stem cells in the future.

As an example of what other universities have done, Dr. Maurer said Stanford University recently received a $75 million donation to build the Lokey Stem Cell Research Building.

The field of regenerative medicine involves innovative medical therapies that will enable the body to repair, replace, restore and regenerate damaged or diseased cells, tissues and organs.

It encompasses a variety of research areas including:

  • Cell therapy;
  • Tissue engineering;
  • Biomaterials engineering;
  • Growth factors; and
  • Transplantation science.

"The fact that Nebraska is able to embark on this project will enhance UNMC's reputation as a forward thinking world leader in medical care and research," Dr. Sarvetnick said.

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