Two new researchers have joined the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) to work at the organization’s Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), which will develop animal models of human stem cell therapies for degenerative diseases of the eye and muscular dystrophy.
Tiziano Barberi, Ph.D, left the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, in Melbourne, while Marcel M. Daadi, Ph.D, was previously working as part of the Consulting Faculty of Stanford University’s Department of Neurosurgery, in Palo Alto, California.
“Dr. Barberi and Dr. Daadi are significant additions to our regenerative medicine research program,” Texas Biomed President and CEO Kenneth P. Trevett said, since “both have focused on stem cell research, have published significant research results in peer review journals and received recognition for their leading roles within research teams and at institutions.”
Regenerative medicine is currently a major focus for Texas Biomed, and the institute is trying to establish new partnerships with institutions and groups in San Antonio to improve their growth and advances in the field. “Dr. Barberi and Dr. Daadi both have strong backgrounds in developing collaborative efforts, and we look forward to the contributions they will make in this important research arena,” Trevett added.
Barberi developed his research into stem cells as one of fifteen chief investigators of the Stem Cells Australia Consortium for stem cell research, and also as a group leader of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. He has previously worked on directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hESC and iPSC) into specific development fates. The purpose of his research is to increase scientists’ knowledge of in-vitro disease modeling and cell therapies, and he has developed a method for obtaining neuronal subtypes from mESC. He was also the first researcher to be able to directly differentiate hESC into mesenchymal precursors and into a skeletal muscle system of progenitor cells.
Hailing from Italy, Barberi has a doctoral degree specializing in cell and molecular biology from the State University of Rome, and another one in cell biology from Germany. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in New York and then moved to California. There, Barberi was Head of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Development at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte. He was also awarded with the New Faculty Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
Daadi has recently been working on the biotechnology company he founded, NeoNeuron, and developing research on therapies for treating neurological disorders. He has served in many leadership positions, such as Director of Stem Cell Research, CIRM Disease Team Stroke Neural Transplant Program at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Program at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Layton Biosciences Inc and NeuroSpheres LLC.
His previous research has focused on a novel technology to purify homogenous populations of neural stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells, as well as to persuade them into specific types of neurons for brain repair. This kind of research has pioneered the understanding of devastating neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Daadi’s goal is to build new collaborative programs at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health Grant Review Committee.