Lian receives Junior Investigator Award for stem cell research

September 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Xiaojun Lance Lian, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and biology, received the Junior Investigator Award at the 2018 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Advanced Biomanufacturing Special Interest Group (ABioM-SIG) Meeting on August 23-24. Lian received the award for his research that focused on differentiating human stem cells into pancreatic beta cells, using small molecules.

“Traditionally, scientists used growth factors for human stem cell differentiation, which are expensive and less stable, preventing large scale production of pancreatic cells for treating diabetes,” Lian said. “Instead, I use small molecules for stem cell differentiation, which are cheaper and more efficient.”

Via this method, it is now possible to manufacture human pancreatic cells from stem cells on the scale needed to replace cells lost during disease, according to Lian. Because the small molecule method is more efficient and less costly, the patients would pay less to receive cell therapy.   

Lian received the BMES ABioM-SIG Junior Investigator Award based on four criteria: significance, innovation, technical content, and clarity. He gave an oral presentation at the meeting based on his award-winning research titled “Chemically defined and growth-factor-free human stem cell differentiation.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 20, 2018