Professor Wins Health Research Board Grant

Posted: July 19, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Geraldine Grant, director of the PhD in Biosciences Program in the Department of Molecular and Microbiology, has won a $100,000 Commonwealth Health Research Board grant to conduct research aimed at improving the transplant success of cartilage cells. The grant will be matched with another grant from Mason, for a total of nearly $139,000 for the first year of the research.

Grant is one of 12 medical and health researchers in Virginia to receive a grant from the board this year. Other researchers who received funds are from the Eastern Virginia Medical School, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

According to Grant’s research proposal, she will specifically study the role of two genes as they affect cartilage cells grown in culture. A relatively new cartilage repair technique used to treat osteoarthritis and repair damaged joints involves removing some of a patient’s own normal cartilage cells, growing them outside the body in culture and then transplanting them into the joint defect.

While the technique is somewhat successful, the implants sometimes fail. Grant expects that the results of her study will aid in devising ways to control the changes in these cells to improve transplant success, and will open new avenues of research in cartilage engineering.

The Commonwealth Health Research Board was established by the Virginia General Assembly to award grants for traditional medical and biomedical research, as well as research related to health services and health care delivery.

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