Vadim Jucaud, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a functional organ-on-a-chip to model allogeneic transplant rejection. Such a model would allow the study of allograft tolerance and may ultimately lead to reducing organ transplant rejections without needing immunosuppressive drugs.
3D “mini-brains,” or brain organoids, derived from people with Parkinson’s disease and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) are now at the International Space Station (ISS) as part of ongoing research in the unique effects of space on the human brain. How brain cells interact in microgravity, a condition under which people or objects appear to be weightless, may help in understanding the mechanisms that underlie these and other neurodegenerative disorders. Such insights are paramount to finding novel biomarkers for an earlier disease diagnosis, and in accelerating the development of new therapies. The research is part of a partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) and the European commercial Axiom Space (Ax-3) astronaut mission, which carried the brain organoids to the station.