I recently received a Notice of Award for my NIH K01 proposal, Manipulation of MHC expression using TGF-β2 to reduce mesenchymal stem cell immunogenicity! The aims of this grant are to 1. identify how TGF-β2 downregulates MHC I surface expression and 2. determine the in vivo immunogenicity of TGF-β2-treated mesenchymal stem cells in a mouse model. The long-term goal of this grant is to generate donor mesenchymal stem cells that can be used in an off-the-shelf manner without initiating an adverse immune response from the recipient. Additionally, the data from this grant will provide insight into a crucial biological mechanism for preventing unnecessary damage by the immune system.
Thanks to funding from the Morris Animal Foundation and an American Association of Immunologists Careers in Immunology Fellowship, I’ve already been able to get a good start on the first aim and will be presenting this data at the American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting next May in Honolulu.