Newswise — San Antonio, June 10, 2014 – Texas Biomedical Research Institute has recruited two new research scientists to its Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) who will focus on regenerative medicine, working with animal models to develop human stem cell therapies for medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, degenerative diseases of the eye and muscular dystrophy.
Tiziano Barberi, PhD and Marcel M. Daadi, PhD join Texas Biomed as Associate Scientists in the SNPRC. Barberi comes from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Daadi arrives from Palo Alto, CA where he was part of the Consulting Faculty of Stanford University’s Department of Neurosurgery. He is also President and Chief Scientific Officer of NeoNeuron LLC.
“Dr. Barberi and Dr. Daadi are significant additions to our regenerative medicine research program,” Texas Biomed President and CEO Kenneth P. Trevett said. “Both have focused on stem cell research, have published significant research results in peer review journals and received recognition for their leading roles within research teams and at institutions.”“Regenerative medicine is a major focus for Texas Biomed, where we have new facilities and financial resources dedicated for that purpose,” he said. “We also look to expand our work with other institutions and groups in San Antonio to promote progress in this field. Dr. Barberi and Dr. Daadi both have strong backgrounds in developing collaborative efforts, and we look forward to the contributions they will make in this important research arena.”
Barberi, a native of Italy, had been one of 15 Chief Investigators of the Stem Cells Australia Consortium for stem cell research and Group Leader for the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. With a laboratory research focus on the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hESC and iPSC) into specific developmental fates, his research aims are to provide tools for human development studies, in vitro disease modeling and a cell therapeutics approach to disease. He described in a seminal work a method to obtain all the clinically relevant neuronal subtypes from mESC, and was the first to have directed differentiation of hESC into mesenchymal precursors and into the progenitor cells forming the skeletal muscle system.
Prior to his work in Australia, Barberi was head of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Development at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, CA. During the time spent at City of Hope, Barberi was awarded the prestigious New Faculty Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He is an invited reviewer for a number of stem cell-related research journals and is a grant reviewer/assessor for research programs in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union. Daadi has unique academia and industry experiences bridging basic and translational research. He comes to Texas Biomed from the San Francisco bay area where he founded a biotechnology company, NeoNeuron, focused on developing therapies for treating neurological disorders. He served as Director of Stem Cell Research, CIRM Disease Team Stroke Neural Transplant Program at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of the Parkinson's Disease Program at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Layton Biosciences Inc and NeuroSpheres LLC.
At Stanford University, Daadi developed a novel technology to purify homogenous populations of neural stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells and coax them to specific types of neurons that can be used for brain repair. His research is paving the way for clinical trials to treat patients with devastating neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury. He seeks to expand on the capabilities of the SNPRC and to build new collaborative programs and projects in stem cell research with colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Daadi serves as editor and reviewer for many peer review journals. He is a permanent member on the National Institutes of Health Grant Review Committee, The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund and serves on many other national and international Grant Review Committees.
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Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research. Located on a 200-acre campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas, the Institute partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world to develop vaccines and therapeutics against viral pathogens causing AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, hemorrhagic fevers, and parasitic diseases responsible for malaria, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease. The Institute also has programs in the genetics of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, psychiatric disorders and other diseases. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to www.TxBiomed.org.