Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability in humans, but effective treatments are lacking. The StemStroke consortium comprises 5 highly qualified academic research teams and one SME which, together with excellent clinicians in the stroke field, will perform innovative research leading to the first preclinical protocol for application of stem cell therapy in stroke patients. Human neural stem cell (NSC) lines will be isolated from the foetal and adult brain, and from embryonic stem cells. Cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the proliferation, migration, survival, and differentiation of the NSC lines after transplantation into the stroke-damaged rodent brain will be determined.
The StemStroke will explore the morphological and functional integration of grafted and endogenously generated NSCs and their progeny in the stroke-damaged brain, and develop new in vivo imaging and behavioural tests, relevant for the human situation, for assessment of stem cell function and recovery of sensory, motor and cognitive deficits.
Finally, StemStroke will optimize transplantation- and endogenous neurogenesis-based strategies and create an important preclinical protocol which can be rapidly translated into human trials. The teams contain top-level expertise in animal models of stroke and MRI-based in vivo imaging, stem cell, molecular, and cellular biology, molecular genetics, animal behaviour and psychology, translational research, and clinical cell therapy.
Through the participating SME, commercial exploitation of the knowledge emerging from the project is ensured. The complementarity of expertise within the consortium, together with the intellectual and technological resources available from each partner, will ensure efficient and high-quality performance and feasibility of achieving its ambitious S&T goals.
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