Jan Nolta, Ph.D.
UC Davis Medical Center
Sacramento, CA 95817
ph: 916-703-9300
Visit Dr. Nolta's website!
Photo by Kari Pollock:
The Huntington’s disease team
members in the Nolta Lab are
genetically engineering adult
mesenchymal stem cells
(known as the paramedic stem
cells) to reduce levels of the
mutant protein that causes the
destruction of neurons in
people living with this disease.
The paramedic cells pictured
above secrete brain-derived
neurotrophic factors to help
new neurons grow in the
brains of mice. The team is
working toward human clinical
trials for these treatments.
Photo by Whitney Cary:
The images captured above
are brain cells called medium
spiny neurons, derived from
human stem cells. These are
the type of neurons found in
the striatum that are destroyed
by neurological diseases such
as Huntington’s disease (HD).
A goal of the Nolta lab is to
grow new neurons to better
understand the disease and to
one day replace those that
have been lost or destroyed in
advanced HD.
"Dr. Nolta is the Director of the Stem Cell Program at UC
Davis School of Medicine, and directs the new Institute for
Regenerative Cures. The UC Davis stem cell program has
over 150 faculty members collaborating to work toward stem
cell-related cures for a spectrum of diseases and injuries.
The current research in Dr. Nolta’s laboratory is focused on
developing therapies that will use mesenchymal stem cells
(MSCs) to deliver factors for treating Huntington’s disease
and other disorders and injuries. Her group focuses on
“bench to the bedside” research, and she has been involved
in numerous clinical trials of gene and cell therapy. She is
scientific director of the new Good Manufacturing Practice
clean room facility at UC Davis, where stem cells of different
types are being isolated or expanded for clinical trials. The
basic research in the Nolta laboratory focuses on
understanding the dynamics of stem cell migration and
attraction to sites of injury. Following intravenous infusion,
adult stem cells home to sites of tissue damage. Areas
studied are cellular response to hypoxia and chemokines,
cell motility, cell-to-cell interactions, and paracrine factors
secreted by MSC at the site of injury."
UC Davis Medical Center
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