Archives for February 2016

Art+Science participants to talk March 23

Celebrating its third annual “Art+Science” project, the University of Michigan’s A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute will also host two talks featuring the eminent artists and physician-researchers collaborating on the innovative fundraiser.


Artist Beverly Fishman, left, and Dr. Eva Feldman discuss their work as part of a collaboration for the 2016 Evening of Art+Science.

The Art+Science project connects the institute’s Taubman Scholars – members of the U-M Medical School faculty – with leading contemporary artists, to explore the commonalities in their respective arenas of creativity and discovery. The artists then go on to produce works of art inspired by the lifesaving medical research of their Taubman Scholar partner, and the works are auctioned to fund more medical research grants through the institute.

On March 23 in Bloomfield Hills, Cranbrook Artist-in-Residence Beverly Fishman will take the stage along with PNR&D Director Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD, at the Cranbrook Art Museum. The duo will discuss their work and the insights they have gained through meetings at one another’s laboratory and studio.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. and the informal talk by Fishman and Feldman will segue into a cocktail reception and possible “sneak peek” of items that will be up for bidding at the gala “Evening of Art+Science” which will take place April 21 at MOCAD in Detroit. Marsha Miro, president of MOCAD, will moderate the discussion.

Another artist-scientist pair will share their art+science experience on March 31 at the U-M Museum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Arbor. The 6 p.m. event will feature a talk with artist Allie McGhee and Taubman Scholar Valerie Opipari, MD, chair of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the U-M Health System. Joe Rosa, director of the UMMA, will chair the discussion.

No registration is required to attend the March 23 and March 31 lecture-receptions.   If you plan to attend, however, kindly e-mail Jason Keech at to facilitate a catering headcount.

For more information about tickets to the April 21 gala and auction, please visit

Dr. Feldman to speak at Lawrence Tech March 29

PNR&D Director Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., has been invited to present her research at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. The event is part of Lawrence Tech’s Walker L. Cisler Memorial Lecture Series.

Dr. Feldman lecture is titled “Stem Cells in the Treatment of ALS: A New Way Forward,” and will be presented in the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium (S100) Science Building, Lawrence Technological University. Lawrence Tech is located at 21000 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield.

Dr. Feldman’s lecture will focus on the status of her ground-breaking clinical trial, in which more than 30 ALS patients received injections of stem cells in their spinal cords. Phases 1 and 2 of the trial showed that the procedure is safe and well-tolerated by patients, and 70 percent of those who received the stem cells recovered to levels higher than historic controls. A third phase of the trial is currently being designed.

PNR&D team publishes key Alzheimer’s findings

Scientists in the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery drew one step closer to understanding the benefits stem cells provide in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, with publication last month of an article in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

The article was one of five published by PNR&D scientists in January alone.

The Alzheimer’s article, “Human Cortical Neural Stem Cells Expressing Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I: A Novel Cellular Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease,” e-published January 7, 2016, demonstrated in cell culture models that stem cells expressing a neuroprotective growth factor promote the development of new cells and synapses, enrich the environment for neurons to thrive, and offer improved protection against Alzheimer’s disease insults. The paper also demonstrates that the cells can survive in the brain of a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease following transplantation, supporting continued testing for effects on learning and memory. The stem-cell line used in the experiment was developed by PNR&D scientists in conjunction with Neuralstem, Inc.

“We believe that injecting stem cells into the brains of diseased mice will have astonishing effects on memory and cognition,” said Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s principle investigator and Director of the PNR&D. “By digging deeper into properties of these cells, we are now beginning to understand how that will happen and gaining knowledge which will ultimately allow us to apply those lessons to the human brain.”

PNR&D scientists have already advanced stem cell therapies to larger mammals and hope to conduct a human clinical trial on stem cell therapies for Alzheimer’s disease by 2018.

Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.2 million people in the United States, a number that is expected to double by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by an accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain which, over time, injure and kill brain nerve cells.  As the nerve cells are lost, so is a person’s ability to think, reason and function normally.


PNR&D scientists had a prolific month of publishing, including a review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the largest medical journal in the United States:

Electrodiagnostic Tests in Polyneuropathy and Radiculopathy. Callaghan BC, Burke JF, Feldman EL. JAMA. 2016 Jan 19;315(3):297-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.16832.

Program scientists also published these articles in January:

The role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in hippocampal insulin resistance. Sims-Robinson C, Bakeman A, Glasser R, Boggs J, Pacut C, Feldman EL. Experimental Neurology. 2016 Jan 13;277:261-267. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.01.007.

Antisense Oligonucleotides for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Why No Neurologist Should Skip This. Jacobson RD, Feldman EL. JAMA Neurology. 2016 Jan 4:1-2. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.4011. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.

Differential impact of type-1 and type-2 diabetes on control of heart rate in mice. Stables CL, Auerbach DS, Whitesall SE, D’Alecy LG, Feldman EL. Autonomic Neuroscience. 2016 Jan;194:17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2015.12.006. Epub 2015 Dec 17.