Researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells.This work, a collaboration among the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System, holds promise for burn patients, victims of chemical injury, and others with damaging eye diseases. The research, published this week in the journal Nature,is also one of the first examples of constructing a tissue from an adult-derived human stem cell.Limbal stem cells reside in the eye’s basal limbal epithelium, or limbus, and help to maintain and regenerate corneal tissue. Their loss due to injury or disease is one of the leading causes of blindness. In the past, tissue or cell transplants have been used to help the cornea regenerate, but it was unknown whether there were actual limbal stem cells in the grafts, or how many there might be, and the outcomes were not consistent.In this study, researchers were able to use antibodies detecting the marker molecule, known as ABCB5, to zero in on the stem cells in tissue from deceased human donors and use it to regrow anatomically correct, fully functional human corneas in mice.“Limbal stem cells are very rare, and successful transplants are dependent on these rare cells,” said Bruce Ksander of Mass. Eye and Ear, co-lead author on the study with postdoctoral fellow Paraskevi Kolovou. “This finding will now make it much easier to restore the corneal surface. It’s a very good example of basic research moving quickly to a translational application.”‘A single lab cannot do a study like this.’ — Natasha Frank, Harvard Stem Cell Institute affiliateResearchers in the lab of Markus Frank of Boston Children’s Hospital and Natasha Frank of the VA Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the co-senior investigators on the study, discovered that ABCB5 was being produced in tissue precursor cells in human skin and intestine. In the new work, using a mouse model developed by the Frank lab, they found that ABCB5 also occurs in limbal stem cells and is required for their maintenance and survival, and for corneal development and repair. Mice lacking a functional ABCB5 gene lost their limbal stem cells, and their corneas healed poorly after injury.“ABCB5 allows limbal stem cells to survive, protecting them from apoptosis [programmed cell death],” said Markus Frank. “The mouse model allowed us for the first time to understand the role of ABCB5 in normal development, and should be very important to the stem cell field in general,” according to Natasha Frank.Markus Frank is working with the biopharmaceutical industry to develop a clinical-grade ABCB5 antibody that would meet U.S. regulatory approvals. “A single lab cannot do a study like this,” said Natasha Frank, who is also affiliated with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “It integrates genetics, knockout mice, antibodies, transplantation — a lot of technical expertise that we were lucky came together in a very nice way.”Other researchers involved in the work were Sean P. McGuire, Meredith S. Gregory, William J. B. Vincent and James D. Zieske of Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School; Brian J. Wilson, Karim R. Saab, and Jie Ma of Boston Children’s Hospital; Qin Guo of Boston Children’s Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare System; Victor L. Perez and Fernando Cruz-Guilloty of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Winston W.Y. Kao and Mindy K. Call of University of Cincinnati Medical Center; Budd A. Tucker of the Stephen A Wynn Institute for Vision Research, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa; Qian Zhan and George Murphy of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Kira L. Lathrop of the University of Pittsburgh; and Clemens Alt, Luke J. Mortensen, and Charles P. Lin of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.The research was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Veterans Administration, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health and its New Innovator Award, a Corley Research Grant, a Western Pennsylvania Medical Eye Bank Core Grant for Vision Research, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Life Sciences Research Foundation.
Published on March 3, 2014 at 11:52 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse All Travis Bader did was hesitate. Once. Maybe twice. At most, three times. A sophomore in high school playing for Camp Darryl Basketball Academy, Bader was defending, boxing out and moving to get open. But for a player who had spent countless hours in the gym perfecting his jump shot, something was missing.He wasn’t shooting the ball, and it prompted head coach Darryl Matthews to call a timeout and lay the foundation for an indelible basketball journey. “You’re a shooter! When you get it, just shoot the ball, that’s what you do!” Matthews yelled. Just shoot the ball. They immediately became words to live by. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Now when I watch him, I sometimes laugh,” Matthews said. “Because when I see him lighting teams up, I think, ‘I’ve seen this game before.’”Coming out of Okemos (Mich.) High School, Bader had one Division I scholarship offer, which led him to Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Now a fifth-year senior, he’s established himself as one of the most prolific sharpshooters in college basketball history.On Feb. 2 against Milwaukee, he passed former Duke guard J.J. Redick to the set the NCAA all-time record for 3-pointers made. Bader closed out his final regular season Saturday and Oakland (12-19, 7-9 Horizon) isn’t primed to make a deep postseason run. His last collegiate game could be Tuesday when the Golden Grizzles face Youngstown State in the first round of the Horizon League tournament, and he’ll put the final touches on a collegiate career highlighted by numbers and accented by the story behind them. “I just want to show how hard I’ve worked and my dedication to this game,” Bader said. “I came in and had just one scholarship offer and to have just one scholarship offer and be mentioned in the same category as someone like J.J. Redick is pretty unbelievable.”At the beginning of high school, Bader wasn’t the 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard he is now, and was still ironing a hitch out of his shooting form. He spent hours in the gym and it translated to games on both the high school and AAU platform. Still, colleges weren’t interested in a gangly guard whose size could hinder success at the next level. Bader’s father works in the Michigan State athletic department — walking on to the Spartans basketball team was always a feasible backup plan but never something Bader wanted to pursue.“He wanted to pave his own way, do it himself,” Matthews said. At the end of his senior season, Bader was named player of the year in Lansing, an area that Oakland heavily recruits. Johnathon Jones — who also attended Okemos — was a junior on the Golden Grizzlies’ roster at the time, and told head coach Greg Kampe that Bader was a player he had to look at.A year later he redshirted with Oakland and used the entire season to refine his craft. “Redshirting was a little frustrating because I wanted to play,” Bader said. “But it was necessary and gave me a lot of time to work on my game.”If Oakland was on the road, that meant the gym was wide open. It meant running around chairs. Shooting five shots from one spot. Then five from another. Then 10 on the other side of the floor. And so on. Bader’s time as a redshirt allowed him to develop a work ethic that has only increased. It led to 10.5 points per game as a redshirt freshman, 15.9 as a sophomore, 22.1 as a junior and 18.2 this season, which has placed him at the top of scouting reports across the Horizon League. “Every time he steps on the floor, he is guarded like he’s Michael Jordan,” Kampe said. “It’s like that every game, he’s held and beaten up and he just has to work with it. It’s different than 99 percent of the great scorers are guarded in this game.”That was no different when the Golden Grizzlies visited Milwaukee a month ago. Bader knew he needed just three 3s to pass Redick going into the game, and came out forcing shots. Eight years prior Matthews used a timeout to tell Bader to shoot more. Now Kampe took one to tell his star that the one shot he needed would come to him. “You’re going to get it, just let it happen,” Kampe told Bader. And a few plays later he did, on a shot that felt no different than the 457 other makes that came before it. With limited time left, he’s now six 3s away from 500, and every make from here on out will only push him deeper and deeper into the record books. Said Bader: “I just like shooting and scoring. Doesn’t everybody?” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ read more
Coach Doc Rivers told reporters before his Clippers took on the high-flying San Antonio Spurs on Monday night that his team was “consistency away from being a good team, but we just aren’t there yet.”Following a so-so first quarter after which it trailed by seven points, Los Angeles was consistently very good the final three quarters and the result was a 115-92 victory over the Spurs before 19,253 at Staples Center. San Antonio (19-5) came in with the second-best record in the Western Conference.The key was a 19-0 Los Angeles run that began early in the second quarter. It set the tone for the rest of the way. The Clippers (17-9) led 55-49 at halftime and 78-70 after three quarters. “I didn’t even realize it was 19-0, but it was huge,” said Griffin, who also grabbed nine rebounds. “It started with defense.”Griffin scored many of his points off hard work in the paint. That was reflected by his 15 free-throw shots, of which he made 11. Chris Paul, who had 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals, marveled at Griffin and the way he goes about his business inside.“It’s been fun to watch, and it’s my job to keep feeding him,” Paul said. “He’s a handful, you have to double-team him to in order to stop him. We’re going to continue to play through him until he tells us otherwise.”There were other contributors to this impressive victory. Jamal Crawford, in his second start, scored 17 points. Dudley scored 14 points, Green had 11 and Darren Collison 10. DeAndre Jordan had seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds.The Clippers shot 51.3 percent from the field to 48.7 for San Antonio.Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 17 points and 11 rebounds; he also had five assists. Manu Ginobili scored 16 points and Kawhi Leonard had 12. Tony Parker played just a little more than 25 minutes before going out with a contusion on his right shin. He finished with eight points and six assists.That this victory against a team like the Spurs came just one day after the Clippers returned from a seven-game road trip, made it even more noteworthy.“Doc and our coaching staff, they do an amazing job making sure we are well-rested and making sure we are in the right mind state before the game,” Paul said, in appreciaton.One thing’s for sure, for a team that has struggled with consistency, the Clippers don’t figure to rest of the laurels of this performance.“It was big,” Rivers said of passing such a test. “But we’re going to have another one soon. You just keep having them all year. If you pass the test, that doesn’t mean you have any time to feel good about it because you’ll have another one.”Next up, the Clippers play host to New Orleans on Wednesday. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error And when San Antonio pulled within four points (86-82) about five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Clippers did not panic. Instead, they outscored San Antonio 29-10 the rest of the way.The final two nails in San Antonio’s coffin were back-to-back 3-pointers by Willie Green and Jared Dudley that gave the Clippers a 103-86 lead with just over three minutes to play.Rivers loved that 19-0 spurt that took the Clippers from a 31-21 deficit to a 40-31 lead with 5:45 left in the second quarter.“That was nice, and I liked it,” Rivers said. “I look at 19-0 runs as defensive runs. The only way you get a 19-0 is when you get defensive stops.”Blake Griffin, who led the Clippers with 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, concurred. read more