Dr. Christine Thisse awarded grant from the Jefferson Trust

The Jefferson Trust provides discretionary funding for trustee-selected projects that promote excellence throughout the University of Virginia by providing catalytic support to the University community for initiatives in pursuit of Jeffersonian ideals. Trustees select projects by their ability to encourage creativity, innovation and leadership, and ultimately by whether they enhance the University and/or the student experience. Jefferson Trust announces grants to support 18 projects across ground this year.

Dr. Chris Thisse was awarded a grant for the project entitled: Construction of Tissues in Vitro. A shortage of donor organs for transplantation has led the field of Regenerative Medicine to explore the possibility of producing tissues and organs in vitro from embryonic stem cells. A few labs have shown that they can produce parts of organs or miniature organs by soaking stem cells in various culture media. This project uses a different approach, based on past results and expertise of the Thisse lab, allowing to take control of embryonic stem cells and imposing them with a precise set of information. The goal of this project is to define optimal conditions to induce mouse embryonic stem cells to start differentiating and organizing themselves into full tissues, in a reproducible manner.