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11.09.2010

Three Miller School Researchers Grace ‘CELLebrity’ Doctors Calendar

Three of the Miller School’s leading stem cell researchers can add a new, rather distinct title to all their other impressive accomplishments: pin-up.

Joshua Hare, M.D., the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine and director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and Juan Dominguez-Bendala, Ph.D., director of Stem Cell Development for Translational Research at the Diabetes Research Institute, are among a dozen of the nation’s top stem cell researchers featured in the first “CELLebrity” Doctors calendar.

Now on sale for $18 plus shipping, the calendar is the first national project of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting disease by funding advanced stages of stem cell research. Based in Miami Beach, it was founded in 2006 by advocate Sabrina Cohen, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a car accident when she was 14.

“Nearly 128 million Americans are suffering from diseases that can potentially be reversed through stem cell therapies, some of which are currently being studied by our 2011 ‘Cellebrity’ Doctors’’ Cohen said. “This calendar allows the foundation to accomplish both education and fundraising, and familiarize people across the country with our mission in a fun and creative way.”

Spotlighting researchers who represent a different medical condition on the stem cell “treatable” list, the calendar describes their groundbreaking work, but shows them pursuing their outside interests.

The January cellebrity, Goldberg is pictured in his running attire, far from his laboratory where, the calendar notes, “he is investigating the developmental control of axon growth by retinal ganglion cells and other CNS neurons’’ and “why retinal ganglion cells fail to survive and regenerate after injury.’’

The February cellebrity, Hare, one of the world’s pioneers in stem cell therapy for heart attack and heart failure, is strumming a red guitar in his photo. “There is no greater calling for me as a physician than to try to help the millions of people with incurable diseases,’’ says Hare, who received the foundation’s second research grant, for $25,000, at the calendar kickoff party this past weekend. “Stem cell based treatments offer the most hope for those ailments.”

Playing the piano in his photo, Domínguez-Bendala is the November cellebrity. The calendar notes he worked at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, known for the cloning of Dolly the sheep, before coming to the DRI, where he is involved in several projects that focus on the use of stem cells to obtain pancreatic insulin-producing cells, with the goal of developing therapies for type 1 diabetes. “Progress in this field has been nothing short of extraordinary, to the point that a cure may be just around the corner,’’ Domínguez-Bendala says.

For more information about the calendar or the foundation, please visit http://www.sabrinacohenfoundation.org/

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