Sonja Schrepfer and Tobias Deuse Awarded 4-year $2.4M NIH Grant to Study Space-Related Physiological Changes and Altered Immune Function
Sonja Schrepfer, M.D., Ph.D. and Tobias Deuse, M.D. have been awarded a 4-year $2.4M NIH grant by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to investigate space-related physiological changes, analogous to those observed during aging, including defects in bone healing, loss of cardiovascular and neurological capacity, and altered immune function. Dr. Schrepfer is associate professor and director of the UCSF Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI) Lab. Dr. Deuse is associate professor and director of minimally-invasive cardiac surgery at UCSF. He is also a principal investigator in the TSI lab. This work complements other innovative research by the TSI lab funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
"Many space-related physiological changes resemble those observed during aging, including defects in bone healing, loss of cardiovascular and neurological capacity, and altered immune function. We hypothesize that microgravity-related aging of the immune system is associated with an increase of terminally differentiated CD8+ effector memory T (TEMRA) cells which impair stem-cell based tissue regenerative health. This project proposal aims to investigate the relationship between an individual’s immune aging and healing outcomes, and to investigate the biology of aging from two directions—not only during its development in microgravity conditions but also during recovery."
About the Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI) Lab
The Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI) Laboratory uses multiple research directions to answer complex questions about stem cell therapy, heart and lung transplantation, and cardiovascular disease. The laboratory focuses on the immunogenicity of allogeneic stem cells, tissues, and organs, and is interested in designing methods to prevent immunological recognition and rejection of such materials. The TSI Lab investigates mechanisms implicated in the development cardiovascular disease with the dual aims of prevention and cure, encompassing basic science (e.g. identifying novel molecules involved in pluripotent stem cell immunogenicity) to translational medicine (e.g. developing drugs that may be useful in reducing myointimal hyperplasia).