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Posted by on Sep 14, 2010 in Foundation NewsLine |

2010 Pentchev Research Fellowships Announced

The NNPDF is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Peter G. Pentchev Postdoctoral Research Fellowships!

The research projects of Dr. Nicholas Cianciola of Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Dorothea Maetzel of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, were selected through an application process which included reviews by the members of the NNPDF’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Dr. Dan Ory, Chair of the NNPDF’s Scientific Advisory Board summarized the two selected projects:

1. Nicholas Cianciola – “Activation of an alternative cholesterol homeostatic mechanism in NPC”
Dr. Cianciola’s project builds upon an exciting observation he made while a graduate student and will explore the role of a viral protein in facilitating movement of cholesterol from lysosomes. The research has the potential to identify new therapeutic targets to stimulate release of cholesterol from lysosomes in the absence of a functional NPC1 protein.

2. Dorothea Maetzel – “In Vitro modelling of Niemann-Pick type C Disease Using Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells”
Dr. Maetzel’s project will lead to development of pluripotent stem cells from human NPC mutant fibroblasts. The stem cells will then be used for high throughput assays to identify small molecules that can correct the cholesterol accumulation in the NPC cells. Development of these cell lines will allow allow testing of whether the genetic defect can be corrected in the stem cells, which could have therapeutic potential.

For more details, including links to the two researchers’ Lay Summaries, please visit the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation’s Latest Research page.

Congratulations, Dr. Cianciola and Dr. Maetzel! Thank you for your work in advancing Our Quest for a Cure!