McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Affiliated Faculty Member Receives the 2013 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair
At the 20th Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR), held recently in Clearwater Beach, Florida, the ASNTR awarded The 2013 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Michel M. Modo, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh.
The 2013 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair award was presented to Dr. Modo in recognition of his extensive research in neurorestorative biology for patients who have suffered brain injury. Of particular focus for him are cerebral ischemia, diseases of neurodegeneration, and exploring the consequences of brain damage. His most recent research efforts are aimed at using non-invasive neuroimaging methods – such as MRI and PET scan – to both image brain damage and to help develop restorative strategies, such as stem cell transplantation, migration, and integration for brain repair. The goal of his approach is to stimulate and/or supplement natural brain repair mechanisms.
For Dr. Modo, the imaging methods provide a window into the anatomical, metabolic, immunological, and functional changes in damaged brains.
“This is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Modo’s pioneering work in the area of cell tracking and regenerative medicine,” said Dr. Jeff Bulte, director of the cellular imaging section, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. “His contributions to the field have emphasized the need for non-invasive imaging techniques that are clinically translatable in order to ensure the efficacy and safety of stem cell-based therapies. Once more, the progress he has made over the last decade is enormous, in particular with his ability to combine multiple imaging modalities, such as proton MRI, fluorine MRI, and PET, to provide different angles in viewing live cells moving throughout the body.”
The award Dr. Modo received is named for Bernard Sanberg, father of Dr. Paul Sanberg (University of South Florida), a co-founder of the ASNTR. After Bernard Sanberg died of a stroke in 1999, the award bearing his name was established and is presented by the ASNTR annually to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair. The award, first presented in 2000, is presented every year at ASNTR’s Annual Meeting.
ASNTR is a society for basic and clinical neuroscientists using a variety of technologies to better understand how the nervous system functions and establish new procedures for its repair in response to trauma or neurodegenerative disease. Member scientists employ stem/neural cell transplantation, gene therapy, trophic factor, and neuroprotective compound administration and other approaches.