By Silke Schmidt | UW Madison
The National Science Foundation has awarded nearly $20 million to a consortium of universities, including the University of Wisconsin–Madison, to support a new engineering research center that will develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. Such cells could be used in a broad range of life-saving medical therapies now emerging from research laboratories.
The new NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) will be led by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Working closely with industry and clinical partners, CMaT could help revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other disorders.
UW–Madison was selected as a major partner in CMaT, a consequence of the university’s pioneering efforts in stem cell engineering and a long history of collaboration between its College of Engineering and School of Medicine and Public Health, says Sean Palecek, professor in chemical and biological engineering and CMaT’s associate director for research. Additional partners include the University of Georgia and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus.