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Director of NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine Appointed

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Mahendra S. Rao, MD, PhD, has been appointed as the director for the new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH-CRM). The NIH-CRM initiative is part of the NIH Common Fund and will be administered by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The new center will be located on the NIH campus, and will be focused on furthering stem cell research and technology toward ultimately developing cell-based therapies in the NIH Clinical Center. The center will provide stem cells and supporting protocols, as well as standard operating procedures used to establish and propagate the needed lines. The resources provided by the center will also facilitate effecting development of the appropriate cell types for use in intramural and extra mural research.

Dr. Rao will hold a joint research appointment in NIAMS and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He is a leading expert in research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and other somatic stem cells, and has been involved in stem cell research for more than two decades. He formerly served at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the NIH, as chief of the Neurosciences Section. During his tenure at the NIA, his research focused on neural progenitor cells and their clinical potential.

Dr. Rao earned his MD from Bombay University in India and his PhD in developmental neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. He completed postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University and subsequently joined the University of Utah, where he established a research laboratory in neural development. Dr. Rao is co-founder of Q Therapeutics, a neural stem cell company based in Salt Lake City, UT. He most recently served as vice president of Regenerative Medicine at Life Technologies in …

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