Researchers awarded CFI funding to study fat-derived stem cells

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry received a financial boost in the quest to demonstrate how stem cells sourced from your body’s fat can assist in wound healing and musculoskeletal regeneration.

Thanks to new funding announced today through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund, Lauren Flynn, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, will be able to invest in infrastructure to continue her cutting-edge research in this area.

“The CFI funding is a major boost for our collaborative research programs and will allow us to purchase the key infrastructure that we need to be able to make high-impact contributions to understanding the key factors that mediate soft tissue regeneration,” said Flynn.

Today, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced more than $35 million in research infrastructure funding for universities across the country where scientists are pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Flynn's team recieved just under $200,000 to construct a state-of-the-art laboratory in the Dental Science Building at Western. Here, they will study and develop cell-based regenerative strategies using human adult stem cells sourced from fat tissues, or adipose-derived stem cells.

“Adipose tissue represents a uniquely abundant and accessible source of stem cells that could potentially be taken from the patient’s own tissues to minimize ethical concerns or issues with immunological rejection,” she said. “For all of our projects, we work in interdisciplinary teams including engineers, biologists and clinicians to help advance our studies as quickly as possible towards clinical trials.”

Flynn hopes the funding for this new facility will continue to foster interdisciplinary collaborations across Western and is thrilled that it will also provide a top-quality research and training environment for students and trainees.