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This year, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission awarded 21 of its 26 grants to Johns Hopkins researchers. The grants will support projects contributing to cures for a wide range of debilitating diseases and conditions, including heart failure, stroke, multiple sclerosis, vascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders and cancer. In all, this year’s grants to researchers in Maryland will total more than $8 million.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the applications for these important research grants,” says Avram Reisner, chair of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission. “Each of these awardees represents one of the keys to the future of regenerative medicine.”

Researchers with promising preliminary data were awarded Investigator-Initiated Grants. Six researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are among this year’s recipients:

Warren Grayson, Ph.D., targeting volumetric muscle loss

Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., targeting schizophrenia and autism

Loyal Goff, Ph.D., targeting Kabuki syndrome

Sharon Gerecht, Ph.D., targeting diabetic wounds

Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., targeting myotonic muscular dystrophy

Michael McMahon, Ph.D., targeting intervertebral disc degeneration

Eight researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who are new to the stem cell field or proposed exploratory projects that have little or no preliminary data received the Exploratory Research Award:

Cynthia Berlinicke, Ph.D., for age-related macular degeneration

Cyrus Mintz, M.D., Ph.D., for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury

Enid Neptune, M.D., for bronchitis and fatal asthma

Vasilki Machairaki, Ph.D., for Alzheimer’s disease


Amy DeZern, M.D., M.H.S., for aplastic anemia

Giorgio Raimondi, Ph.D., M.Sc., for transplant rejection


Peter Calabresi, M.D., for multiple sclerosis

Kathryn Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., for muscular dystrophy

Seven trainees at Johns Hopkins were given Post-Doctoral Fellowship Awards:

Hyunhee Kim, Ph.D., for Parkinson’s disease


Miguel Flores-Bellver, Ph.D., for age-related macular degeneration

Wei Huang, Ph.D., for schizophrenia 

Ziyuan Guo, Ph.D., for neurofibromatosis type 1

Allison Bond, Ph.D., for schizophrenia 

Ji Suk Choi, Ph.D., for soft tissue defects and cancer


Dhruv Vig, Ph.D., for vascular diseases 

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