New Faculty II
$3 056 649
Statement of Benefit to California:
This is a proposal to study the regulation of adult stem cell proliferation in the mouse hair follicle. Specifically, the applicant is interested in understanding the signal transduction cascades that ultimately lead to cell cycle progression or arrest in the stem cells residing in the bulge of the hair follicle. The hair follicle has emerged as an interesting and accessible niche for adult stem cells, and repeated cycles of follicular regeneration offer an important model for studying the kinetics and regulation of stem cell cycling. Reviewers were enthusiastic about this superb proposal by an outstanding physician scientist with a stellar pedigree and training. They commented that the applicant is poised to make seminal discoveries on adult stem cell proliferation in adult hair stem cells, and has all of the essential prerequisite training to do so. The institution is a leader in stem cell research, and both the selected mentors and the institution are strongly supportive of the applicant, who was recruited to the institution to continue the kind of research proposed in the application. The research proposal is interesting, although reviewers were mixed regarding the potential impact and significance of the work because the stem cells could have been used more extensively for understanding developmental/regenerative issues common to all stem cells, rather than the intense focus only on cell cycling. The research plan was described as a good balance between small logical steps forward and a few high-risk, high-reward style experiments. There are some alternate approaches proposed for the riskiest experiments. The preliminary results are quite good and support the feasibility of the research plan. The proposal is illustrated beautifully, clearly written, and well supported by preliminary data and publications. The major cited weakness of the application was that the work may not be generally translatable to other stem cells, as the hair follicle compartment may be unique. Reviewers commented on the applicant’s very strong track record, and they were impressed that the applicant continued to produce solid research during medical training. They commented that the investigator has successfully tackled some tough developmental problems, and appears to be an up and coming young researcher. Four outstanding researchers have been recruited as mentors. The institution was described as excellent, including facilities, a stimulating and nourishing working environment, outstanding and dedicated mentors, and start up support from the department and institution. Overall, reviewers agreed that this applicant is a rising star at an excellent institution, and the research project proposed is interesting and solid.