The Potential of Adipose-derived Stem Cells and Controlled Drug Delivery in Vision Restoration

January 4, 2012 -
11:45am to 1:00pm

The Fox Center for Vision Restoration organizes an exciting lecture series focusing on ocular regeneration and new therapies.
Distinguished national and international speakers present their innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to finding cures for vision impairment. The objective of this lecture series is to accelerate research through knowledge sharing, partnership building and out of the box thinking.

This lecture series should be of interest to: clinicians with an interest in ophthalmology; scientists and engineers interested in tissue engineering, cellular therapies and assistive technologies; students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and research.

Kacey Marra Deepartments of Surgery & Bioengineering, Co-Director, Adipose Stem Cell Center, Faculty, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
January 4, 2012
11:45am - 1:00pm
Kacey Marra, PhD, Associate Professor, is recognized for her interdisciplinary research in the design, synthesis, characterization and assessment of polymeric biomaterials.

Dr. Marra joined the Department of Surgery as an Assistant Professor in November 2002. Prior to that appointment she was with Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Scientist at the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES), and an associated faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (1998-2002), and the Department of Materials Science Engineering (2000-2002). In 1996-7, Dr. Marra was a post-doctoral fellow at the Emory University School of Medicine, with advisor Elliot Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D. At Emory, Dr. Marra worked on the synthesis of novel synthetic blood vessels.

Dr. Marra is actively involved in research efforts investigating polymeric biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. She is the Director of the Plastic Surgery Laboratory as well as Co-Director of the Adipose Stem Cell Center. Her research is focused on the utilization of adipose-derived stem cells for tissue engineering applications such as soft tissue reconstruction. Additionally, a major research effort in her laboratory is the long-term delivery of neurotrophic factors for long gap nerve repair.

Dr. Marra participates in numerous outreach programs, including a high school student program she developed in her laboratory (ROHSS: Research Opportunities for High School Students). For further information, please visit her laboratory website.

Presentation Abstract

Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are a subset of mesenchymal stem cells that has recently demonstrated multi-lineage potential.
ASCs have the following characteristics:
1. easily harvested
2. minimal donor site morbidity
3. expendable
4. abundant
5. reusable or multiple donor sites
6. yield significant numbers of stem cells as to obviate the need for expansion
Our lab has been isolating and characterizing human ASCs for nearly a decade.
Our laboratory is interested in exploring the differentiation potential of ASCs as well as the growth factor expression and transfection ability of these cells. Additionally, in combination with controlled drug delivery therapies developed in our laboratory, we hope to design a synergistic system that can locally deliver neurotrophic factors utilizing both biodegradable, injectable materials and autologous cells.

Location and Address

Eye and Ear Boardroom, 5th floor, Eye and Ear Institute
203 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213