Bedford Research Foundation Open House Next Week!

The Bedford Research Foundation (BRF) is hosting two open houses Thursday, April 30 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm, and Saturday, May 2 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm for local residents and members of the biomedical, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. The event is open to the public and includes a short presentation by foundation director, Dr. Ann Kiessling, as well as demonstrations and tours of the foundation’s new space at 124 South Road, Bedford, MA. Meet staff and board members and find out more about the many exciting projects currently underway.  Representative Ken Gordon and senator Mike Barrett will be on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Bedford Research Foundation is a not-for-profit biomedical institute conducting stem cell and related research to help find cures for diseases presently considered incurable. In the words of board member Victoria Staebler,:

“The stem cell research that BRF is doing is laying the foundation for regenerative cell therapy that could potentially cure not only spinal cord injury victims like him [sic], but an incredible range of diseases, from Parkinson’s to bone marrow cancer.”

Bedford Research Foundation is proud of its many innovative projects in stem cell growth and culture, programs targeted at diseases like prostatitis and prostate cancer, and services for couples living with infectious disease.

Visitors are encouraged to meet foundation representatives, tour the new BRF research and laboratory facility, and learn more about stem cell research – what it is, how far it’s come, and where it needs to go from here.

About Bedford Research Foundation

BRF has been doing cost-effective research to high standards for almost 20 years, demonstrating that individuals can make a huge difference in areas traditionally dominated by universities or government agencies. More information is available on the web at www.bedfordresearch.org/open-house.

BRF-OPEN-HOUSE-FLIER

Ground breaking work with fellowship money

Bedford Research Foundation supports ground breaking work with fellowship money

As the result of a generous benefactor, the Bedford Research Foundation has placed a fellow in Spain who is contributing significantly to understanding cellular programming and pluripotency in Stem Cells.

Dr. Sebastian Canovas is a Principal Investigator researcher from the Program for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of Andalucia, Foundation “Progreso y Salud”, in Seville, Spain. Dr Canovas received his DVM in 2002 from the University of Murcia (Spain) and in 2005 he completed his Master’s degree in Biotechnology of Reproduction in Mammals. During six years (2002-2008) he was working in the group Physiology of Reproduction in embryology, sperm functionality and sperm-oocyte interactions.

Following completion of his PhD, he joined Dr. Cibelli’s laboratory (Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory) at Michigan State University (USA) where his research had been focused on understanding the mechanisms of cellular reprogramming during embryo development and induced pluripotent stem cells production. To elucidate these mechanisms, Sebastian studied the role of a H3K27me3 histome demethylase (JMJD3) in bovine at early embryo development and during human make induced pluripotent stem cells process. Also, he has development a project for enhancing the efficiency in the production of safe iPS cells using episomal plasmids and adult somatic cells.

Now, his team is involved on a project to make transdifferentiation from human somatic cells forwards germinal cells. As a result of his work, he has published more than 12 scientific papers in journals with impact factor and he is collaborating in 6 research grants. Dr. Canovas hopes these studies will help lead to cures of rare disorders and fertility, which are affecting the population but they have not an effective treatment.

2014 Annual Appeal for Support

Dear Supporter,

In 1996, the Bedford Research Foundation was formed in response to a need for specialized tests and services that were not available anywhere in the world. Today, we still provide these specialized tests and it has led us to a new model of funding:

“The Foundation is a forward thinking institution that covers overhead costs with fee-for-service testing, thus allowing philanthropic donations to go directly to research.”

– Alan Geismer, Chairman, Board of Trustees
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Illustration of mouse and firefly gene making a glowing mouse

Fall & Winter 2014 Stem Cell Research Update

Bedford Research Stem Cells Glow!

Breakthroughs in understanding circadian rhythms in stem cells.

Fall 2014: Bedford Research scientists are following up on their discovery that stem cells have a circadian rhythm that may need to be supported for optimum development in the laboratory.

In the body, the daily pattern of light and dark controls many signals sent out by the brain, such as those that trigger changes in body temperature, and feelings of hunger and sleepiness.

Stem cells may especially need circadian signals to differentiate into specific cell types, such as neurons or bone marrow — but what type of signal should they receive in the laboratory? And what frequency? There is growing evidence that each type of cell needs a different circadian signal.

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Stem Cell Research – Science Update

Following up Bedford’s discovery that stem cells may be controlled by circadian rhythms.

Bedford Research scientists discovered that stem cells may need circadian rhythm signals. This insight would make them analogous to several types of cells in the body, including some cancer cells. If true, new methods of cell culture need to be developed to enhance stem cell development. Bedford Research scientists isolated a new line of stem cells from a research mouse (Per2Luc) whose cells glow when one of the circadian genes is active (Figure 1). Efforts to study the new Per2Luc stem cells have been hindered by the lack of a sensitive photo-microscope to detect and record the glow — until very recently.  An exciting, new photo-microscope (LV200) is sensitive enough to capture circadian oscillations in the Per2Luc cells (Figure 1). This advance will allow more rapid studies of the importance of circadian signals to stem cell expansion and differentiation.

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Dr. Kiessling gives 2014 commencement to 25,000 at Oregon State University

Update June 15, 2014: Commencement Address a Success
Despite a prank from University of Oregon, Dr. Kiessling’s message about taking an active role in government hit home with the largest graduating class in OSU history. read more…

Update June 18, 2014: Pilot of the “Go Ducks” Plane to Donate $500 to Bedford Research
“We knew that the “Go Ducks !” message would be controversial, but we never imagined the depth of the offense our error in judgment has caused.” read more…

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Bedford Research Foundation 2014 Newsletter

Read about all of the progress and the research that has occurred at the Foundation over the course of the past year, and a retrospective on the past 18! Dr. Kiessling outlines her vision for the upcoming year as well. Thank you for your support.


Bedford Research Foundation is EIGHTEEN

Founded in 1996 to conduct research that cannot be funded by the National Institutes of Health, Bedford Research scientists have achieved ground-breaking milestones!

See our Timeline of Milestones!

 

 Bedford Research Foundation’s work cannot be federally funded because of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment to the budget of the National Institutes of Health, put in place in 1996 and renewed annually. BRF scientists need private donations for research to develop “universal” stem cells for Everybody.
Donate Today!

Bedford Research Stem Cells Glow!

It Works: Breakthroughs in understanding circadian rhythms in stem cells.

Fall 2014: Bedford Research scientists are following up on their discovery that stem cells have a circadian rhythm and that it may need to be supported for optimum development in the laboratory. Illustration of mouse and firefly gene making a glowing mouse In the body, all cells are influenced by the daily pattern of light and dark which controls many signals sent out by the brain, such as those that trigger changes in body temperature, and feelings of hunger and sleepiness.

Stem cells may especially need circadian signals to form into different cell types, such as neurons or bone marrow — but what type of signal should they receive in the laboratory? And what frequency? There is growing evidence that each type of cell needs a different circadian signal.

To answer this question, Bedford Research scientists have taken advantage of a genetically engineered mouse that has the firefly “glow” gene (Luciferase) attached to one of the circadian rhythm genes (the “Period 2” gene). Tissues in this PerLuc mouse “glow” when Period 2 is active.

Recently, Bedford Research scientists derived two new lines of stem cells from the PerLuc mouse, but discovered their circadian signal needs had been hindered by lack of a microscope sensitive enough to detect and photograph the glow of a small number of cells.

The good news is that such a microscope has been developed, and this year became available in the U.S. The bad news is that the system costs $160,000 and is not yet available anywhere on the east coast.

Olympus loaned Bedford Research scientists a demonstration LV200 for a couple of weeks this fall during which we discovered that our PerLuc stem cells do, indeed “glow” (Figure 1), and that the “glow” actually begins soon after activation, and increases as it transitions into stem cells. The “glow” seems to increase as it transitions into stem cells (Figure2).

These exciting new findings provide strong support for the importance of circadian rhythms in stem cell growth and development. One of our goals is to raise funds to purchase the new microscope system as soon as possible in order to discover what circadian signals stimulate differentiation of each cell type

Bedford’s Science Advisory Committee Grows

Dr. Jose Cibelli joins as chair and welcomes four new members. In January of 2014, Bedford Trustee, Dr. Jose Cibelli, Michigan State University, joined Bedford’s Science Advisory Committee as its chair. This summer, the Committee welcomed new members: Dr. Fred Davis, Northeastern University, Dr. David DiGiusto, City of Hope Cancer Research Center, Dr. Phil Horner, University of Washington, and Dr. Steve Sheridan, Harvard Medical School. We’re thrilled to have this amazing committee who join founding member, Dr. Carol Warner, Emeritus, Northeastern University.

Progress in Stem Cell Engineering

There is strong evidence that “off-the shelf” stem cell therapies, i.e. one that can be delivered to any patient, will be possible in the future. In order to create such therapies, we will need stem cells that have been engineered for specific regenerative medicine treatments, such as bone marrow stem cells that are resistant to HIV.

Using “activated” mouse eggs (called “parthenotes”) as a model system, Bedford Research scientists have made substantial progress adapting new technologies to “knock-out” the receptor for HIV. The same technology is being applied to new cell lines for studies of nerve development.

We’re Moving!

After 16 years at Davis Square in Somerville, MA, we are moving to a larger space in Bedford, MA. The need to develop an FDA-approved laboratory module for “bench to bedside” stem cell research, plus a unique “lease to purchase” opportunity prompted the move. We have two years to raise $800,000 to purchase the building. We are seeking support from state life science research funds as well as philanthropists.

We have one pledge of $75,000. To find out more about endowing the laboratory please email ryan@bedfordresearch.org so we can take advantage of the lease opportunity and the savings in overhead that can be diverted to the research.

Prostate Disease

Research Update Patient recruitment into the prostate cancer screening project is ongoing. The goal of the project is to develop semen screening tests that will help diagnose and stage prostate cancer as well as reflect overall male health. A group of urologists in Texas have recently joined the research project and will help recruit patients for the next phase of the work.

OSU Commencement

In June, Dr. Kiessling was honored to give the commencement address at Oregon State University. Over 25,000 people filled Reser Stadium where Dr. Kiessling highlighted the importance for graduates in all fields to stay involved with government throughout their lives to help our democracy, and to help shape the course of science and society. Dr. Kiessling was presented with an Honorary Doctorate, and even took on the rival ducks! (See the video on our site!)

Lifetime Achievement

In March, Dr. Kiessling received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 HIV Congress held in Mumbia, India. This award recognizes her work on understanding HIV infection, establishment of the SPAR program, and her current work with HIV

A Track Record Of Translating Basic Research To Patient Care

In 1996, the Bedford Research Foundation was formed in response to a need for specialized tests and services that were not available anywhere in the world. Today, we still provide these specialized tests and it has led us to a new model of funding:

“The Foundation is a forward thinking institution that covers overhead costs by fee-for-service testing, thus allowing philanthropic donations to go directly to research.”
– Alan Geismer, Chairman,
Board of Trustees

Our work to derive a human stem cell line that is resistant to HIV infection (Engineered to “knock-out” the HIV receptor. See the video on our site!) cannot be federally funded because of an amendment restricting the budget of the National Institutes of Health. This research is, therefore, entirely dependent upon philanthropy.

In addition to basic science, our team is also focused on moving stem cell research from “bench to bedside.” Capital is needed to equip an FDA-approved laboratory module in our new location. Please consider donating today, every gift makes a difference.

Who is Bedford Research Foundation?

 

Donate Today

“Bedford’s stem cell work this year has moved the field closer to the realization of a curative therapy for HIV.”
– Dr. David Digiusto
Director of the Laboratory for Cellular Medicine at City of Hope & Bedford Research Science Advisory Committee Member Since 2013

Each Experiment Brings Us Closer

The average foundation laboratory experiment costs $90,000. Because most of our overhead is covered by fee-for-service laboratory tests, every dollar you donate goes directly toward these experiments. This innovative funding model allows Bedford Research scientists greater flexibility to move the work quickly in promising new directions. Progress requires meeting our annual funding goals. Please become a supporter and help us do more experiments this year.

Donate Today!

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is More Common in Semen Than Generally Thought, According to a New Study

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is more common in semen than generally thought, according to a new study by Bedford Research Foundation scientists.

CMV is a common herpes virus that causes a minor disease in children and adults, but can also infect fetuses in utero and causes permanent problems in 1 out of 750 children born in the U.S.

In the February issue of Fertility and Sterility, the official journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Bedford Research scientists report two surprising findings: First, nearly half (45%) of the semen specimens from 68 men without and with HIV co-infection had detectable CMV, including specimens from two men who initially tested negative for antibody against CMV in their blood. Second, men with even mild suppression of their immune system were twice as likely (57%) to have CMV in their semen as men with normal immunity (28%).

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