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LA BioMed's Dr. Patricia Dickson researching treatments for neurodegenerative disorders
Date:5/30/2012

LOS ANGELES (May 30, 2012) Patricia Dickson, M.D., principal investigator at The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed), is co-principal investigator of a project that was just awarded a $5.5 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The goal of the project is to develop a stem cell based therapy for the treatment of mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), a fatal pediatric lysosomal storage disease that causes neurodegeneration as well as defects in other major organ systems. Dr. Dickson is working with lead investigator Philip H. Schwartz, Ph.D., senior scientist at the CHOC Children's Research Institute and managing director of the facility's National Human Neural Stem Cell Resource.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Dickson's research at LA BioMed has focused on enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis, a group of metabolic disorders caused by the absence or malfunctioning of enzymes needed to break down molecules - called glycosaminoglycans - which help build bone, cartilage, connective tissue and other essential parts of the body. As part of this study, she and her colleagues will begin with proof-of-principle experiments for MPS I.

"Dr. Dickson has been at the forefront of mucopolysaccharidosis research for many years, working tirelessly to help develop therapies for MPS I," said David I. Meyer, Ph.D., president and CEO of LA BioMed. "We congratulate her on her continued success, and for her role in this project which could be an important breakthrough for children suffering from neurodegenerative disorders."

"The unique aspect of this research is that it uses a single donor for the transplantation of stem cells into the body and the brain, which allows the best treatment for both physical and neurological disease and avoids rejection of neural stem cell grafts by the host immune system," said Dr. Dickson. "Pediatric neurodegenerative diseases a
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Contact: Diana Soltesz
diana@dsmmedia.com
818-592-6747
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)
Source:Eurekalert

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