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Panel 3: Martin Marsala, UC San Diego

CIRM Disease Team Reports

November 30, 2011
18 minutes
Martin Marsala


Dr. Marsala has developed and characterized several models of spinal traumatic and ischemic injury and brain ischemia models using rodents and minipigs over the past 20 years. He has characterized behavioral, electrophysiological, and histopathological changes in the brain and spinal cord, leading to a progressive loss of neurological function. More recently, he and his team at UC San Diego have developed a well-defined scientific basis for initiation and preclinical evaluation of cell-replacement based therapies targeted to modulate neurological dysfunction in a variety of spinal neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal ischemic injury and spinal traumatic injury. Dr. Marsala’s team is currently focusing on the issues surrounding neural engraftment of astrocytes and neural precursor cells generated from hESC. The use of these models will help address critical issues related to clinical translation of cell-based therapies including spinal cord dimensions, optimal cell dosing, maturation profile of engrafted cells and issues related to long term immunosuppression currently required in patients receiving allogeneic cell grafts.