Nationwide Childrens Hospital Researchers Receive Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Grant to Study Cell Therapy

January 7, 2016

A team of physician-scientists led by Susan D. Reynolds, PhD, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital recently received a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to study the safety and effectiveness of cell therapy for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
“Existing treatments and recently-developed drugs have improved lung function for many cystic fibrosis patients. Our goal is to develop a treatment that will benefit even more of these patients by using an individual’s own cells as therapy, an approach termed “autologous cell therapy,” explains Dr. Reynolds, who is a principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research at Nationwide Children’s.
The grant of more than $150,000 will help researchers identify the optimal cell for use as cell therapy, focusing on the airway tissue stem cell, a unique cell type that self-renews (replaces itself) and is the source of all cells that cover the surface of the lung’s airways. The team will test the safety and function of these cells using their recently developed preclinical transplantation model.
Co-investigators with Dr. Reynolds on the grant include Don Hayes, Jr, MD, medical director, Advanced Lung Disease Program and Daniel Malleske, MD, neonatologist, at Nationwide Children’s.
Dr. Reynolds notes, “Cell therapy for cystic fibrosis patients has been characterized as ‘futuristic.’ However, our previous research suggests we have overcome some of the scientific barriers preventing the development of this therapy for patients. We feel the future of this therapy is closer than may be expected.”

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at