Our group was recently funded by Portugal2020 to develop new therapies for stroke. The project has the contribution of two Hospitals in the Center Region of Portugal (Hospital Rovisco Pais and Hospital da Universidade de Coimbra) and a company (Crioestaminal). Stroke is the second cause of mortality in the world, and patients that survive to the accident present a high probability of morbidity, i.e., neurologic deficit (motor or cognitive). So far, there is only a therapy approved by FDA for the treatment of ischemic stroke, the tissue plasminogen activator (which should be administered until 3 h after stroke), which has several limitations. The present project aims to create an innovative therapeutic platform to treat stroke patients based in stem cells and their products.
Pedro Gouveia from the Experimental Biology and Biomedicine PhD program of CNC (Univeristy of Coimbra) and Patricia Pitrez from MIT Portugal Program (Univeristy of Minho) defended their PhD thesis last June, 2016. Pedro’s thesis was entitled “Cardiac Tissue Constructs for Drug Screening”. Patricia’s thesis was entitled “Bioengineering Platforms to Modulate the Activity of Smooth Muscle Cells Derived from Progeria-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells”.