Meet the 2023 ISCRM IPA Recipients

Please join us in congratulating the following researchers who have received the 2023 ISCRM Innovation Pilot Awards!

ISCRM’s Innovation Pilot Award (IPA) program, supported by resources from the State of Washington, aims to support innovative research of any current UW FACULTY member of ISCRM (Acting, Research and Regular Faculty) who is pursuing novel experiments that are directly relevant to stem cell biology or regeneration.

Faculty headshot of Cole DeForest, PhDCole DeForest, PhD (Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering)
An ISCRM IPA will allow the DeForest Lab to control advanced cell fate changes in 4D-tunable engineered biomaterials. Harnessing the synNotch system, which uses modular synthetic Notch receptors to drive user-defined functional responses, the team will advance the field’s effort to recapitulate heterogenous multicellular tissue with native complexity.

Ronald Young Kwon, PhD (Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine)
With an ISCRM IPA, Ronald Young Kwon will determine how genes regulate the maturation of notochord vacuolated cells, which are believed to be ideal cells to repopulate the degenerate intervertebral disc, a major source of lower back pain. Ultimately, this knowledge will provide new opportunities to elucidate developmental mechanisms underlying notochord vacuolated cell maturation.

Feini (Sylvia) Qu, VMD, PhD (Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine / Mechanical Engineering)
Feini (Sylvia) Qu, in partnership with Dr. Woojin Han (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), will develop and test an injectable hydrogel platform to instruct the sequential and spatial formation of bone followed by articular cartilage. In hopes of advancing the potential of limb regeneration, Qu aims to sequentially deliver the proteins BMP2 and BMP9 in a single injection and assess their ability to induce bone regrowth followed by joint regeneration after digit amputation.

Meredith Redd, PhD (Bioengineering)
Meredith Redd will use an ISCRM IPA to generate a novel tool to study ASIC1a biology in a variety of cell types and uncover the physiological and pathological functions of ASIC1a in the heart, a critical knowledge gap in the field of cardiac response to acidosis. Outcomes from this research project will enhance the field’s understanding of cardiomyocyte responses to acidosis during cardiac injury and repair.