1. American Diabetes Association

An Informatics Approach to Human Sural Nerve Biomarkers of Diabetic Neuropathy P.I. Feldman
The major goals of this project are: to identify biomarkers of DN in type 2 patients using human sural nerve mRNA and to develop analysis and summarization systems.

2. Innovative grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

“Dyslipidemia and diabetic neuropathy” P.I. Vincent
This study will explore how dyslipidemia (specifically high levels of blood cholesterol) affect the development of nerve damage in type 1 diabetes. We propose that poor blood lipid profiles will increase nerve injury by increasing oxidative stress that is already produced by elevated blood glucose. We will feed type 1 diabetic mice with a high fat diet and compare the development of neuropathy with a normal diet, then explore the mechanisms of injury in cultured nerve cells. The study will form the basis for the design of new therapeutic strategies for type 1 diabetic patients targeted at lipid-induced nerve injury.

3. Center for Stem Cell Biology @ UM

Stem Cell Therapy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis P.I.: Feldman
Cellular based technologies are an emerging field in the development of treatments for ALS. Recently, several studies have reported that direct spinal cord implantation of different fetal derived cell lines preserves MN integrity in a variety of spinal cord diseases. In contrast, there is little information on the therapeutic benefit of direct spinal cord implantation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in our disease of interest, ALS. Our hypothesis is that direct lumbar spinal cord transplantation of human embryonic stem (hESC) cell-derived neural progenitor cells (ES-NPCs) into the transgenic SOD1 rat model of ALS will preserve MN integrity and partially ameliorate disease progression.