Laflamme Receives $20,000 Stem Cell Research Grant

Perkins Coie announced that it has presented its $20,000 “Award for Discovery” to Michael A. Laflamme, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology in the University of Washington School of Medicine, to fund his research project “Development and Testing of a Stem Cell-Derived Biological Pacemaker.”

The award is part of the firm’s five-year commitment to support translational research at the UW Medicine South Lake Union campus. Each year, from 2007 to 2011, the firm will award a $20,000 grant to support a new project to generate data that could be used as a basis for a new and significant research program funded by NIH or other funding agencies. The award to Dr. Laflamme is the third in this program.

In his grant application, Dr. Laflamme explained that he and his team will use the award to develop an autologous, stem cell-derived biological pacemaker.  The funding “will extend our preliminary work in two new directions: 1) testing the function and specificity of a novel genetic label in identifying pacemaker cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, and 2) proof-of-concept experiments to test the capacity of these pacemaker cells to function in an animal model.”

“We are proud to be supporting cutting-edge science at the UW Medicine South Lake Union campus,” said Jim Lisbakken, a partner in the firm’s Licensing & Technology practice and chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Practice. “Dr. Laflamme’s research could one day save hundreds of lives, and we are proud to help make that a possibility.”

“Perkins Coie is a leading international firm very much engaged in the Seattle community, and Dr. Laflamme’s research has the potential to lead to life-saving treatment of cardiac illness. It is a great partnership,” said Dr. John Slattery, vice dean of research and graduate education at the University of Washington School of Medicine.