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  1. #1
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Yankton, South Dakota


    A friend just shared this with me, hadn't seen it yet so if it's old stuff just delete. If nothing else gives some idea of costs.

    DATE: October 26, 2003

    RE: Nuclear Transfer Transplantation (NTT) Project: Somatic Nuclear Transfer and Genetic Development of Embryonic Stem (ES) Cells, a critical step towards successful transplantation of stem cells in humans

    FROM: John W. McDonald, M.D.,Ph.D., Director of the Washington University Spinal Cord Injury Program

    I am pleased to tell you that we have embarked upon an aggressive program to bring up in our laboratories the ability to complete somatic nuclear transfer and develop embryonic stem (ES) cells from genetically modified animal cells.

    This is a critical step towards our goal of successful transplantation of neural stem cells in humans with spinal cord injury. These techniques are required to achieve two goals critical for successful transplantation: transplanting cells that have an individual's own DNA material and cells that are appropriate or normally found in that area of the nervous system. Embryonic stem (ES) cells satisfy these criteria. ES cells can be created with an individuals DNA using somatic nuclear transfer AND ES cells can give rise to neural progenitors normally found in the spinal cord. This is an essential goal in our transplantation program.

    However, we need your help in accomplishing these goals. As you know, critical resources are often not available through federal sources, such as the National Institute of Health, particularly on short order. I have obtained quotes to assemble the set of equipment necessary for our laboratory to become a world leader in somatic nuclear transfer and genetic isolation of embryonic stem cells. Basically this equipment includes a microscopic electric drill, which is used to drill into the cell in order to obtain the nucleus or the DNA and then a very high power microscope fluorescence system with micromanipulators used to manipulate the cells, and transfer nucleus to other sites.

    Finally, it is critical for proof of concept to bring up to speed in our animal colony these abilities in order to demonstrate that the isolated cells are ES cells and can go germ line. These animal facilities are also necessary in order to obtain supra-ovulation in female mice with genetic modifications for further isolation of the ES cells. These are the critical steps that stand in our way for pushing forward with transplantation in humans.

    As you know, we have recently completed a phase I clinical trial in humans with xenotransplantation, the transplantation of stem cells from embryonic sources of pigs. With advances noted above, it will possible to push forward the envelope in terms of new treatments for humans with disorders of the nervous system, particularly spinal cord injury. We are establishing a cooperative relationship with multiple medical centers in South America and will be moving forward some of our science there.

    In summary, without your help this will not be possible. Raising the funds for this critical scientific step will rapidly accelerate our timeline to transplantation in humans. These monies will also be leveraged to enable us to compete for additional larger federal funding, not possible today.

    Thank you again for taking charge and changing the way we treat spinal cord injury. There are few opportunities in our lives when we enable such dramatic change. We are creating a special team that requires your participation to reach these goals rapidly. Let us together change the face of spinal cord injury treatment.

    Thank you for your help,

    John W. McDonald, M.D.,Ph.D.
    Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at
    Washington University School of Medicine,
    Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and the Rehabilitation
    Institute of St. Louis,
    Associate Professor of Neurology, Neurological Surgery, and Neurobiology
    Washington University School of Medicine
    St. Louis, MO 63108


    Your tax-deductible donation will be specifically used to purchase the following equipment and to pay the costs to complete the studies required.

    Part A: Somatic Nuclear Transfer $177,000

    Items required
    1) Olympus Fluorescence Microscope $100,000
    2) Micromanipulators and Micromanipulation Stages $25,000
    3) Peso Electric Drill $25,000
    4) Burling Manipulator $15,000
    5) Anti-vibration Table $12,000

    Part B: Customization and Transfer Technology to our center $10,000

    This includes travel to our collaborative labs in Oklahoma and travel to the San Francisco Center where our Spanish Nuclear Transfer Technology will be transferred. This quote would also cover the cost of this travel. Eight trips would be necessary.

    Part C: Animal husbandry and Mouse Supra-ovulation Facility $150,000

    This includes salary for one full-time technician at $45,000
    Somatic Nuclear Transfer Specialist $50,000
    Animal care housing and animal cost $50,000

    Part D: Supplies and ongoing cost $50,000

    This includes all the culture, supplies, growth factors and genotype analysis required

    Total $360,000

    Tax-Deduct able Donation Submission Sheet

    NextSteps Foundation, an Illinois-based, not for profit, tax deductible, 501(C)3 designated, Foundation, created in 1996, dedicated to the critical research required for restoration of function in individuals with disorders of paralysis including spinal cord injury. NextSteps (website: was founded by the internationally known Patrick Rummerfield, a true "Outlier" or 'Miracle' who sustained a severed cervical spinal cord injury in 1974 and who's 'never give up' attitude lead him to a near complete recovery. Pat has gone on to set world records in a number of areas including competing in the Iron-Man Triathlon Race of Champions in Hawaii, 1992, the completing the Antarctic marathon in 1997, and the land speed record for an electric car at 245.5 mph in the Bonneville salt flats, Utah, 1999.

    Every donation counts. Washington University Spinal Cord Injury Program has created and will display a plaque on the research floor at the Spinal Cord Injury Center (4455 Duncan Avenue, The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis) commemorating the donation team that made this dream possible.

    Donation Levels:

    Platinum: >100,000
    Gold: >50,000
    Silver: >25,000
    Copper: >5,000
    Donor: <5,000 or below

    Please make your checks payable to:
    NextSteps Foundation, The NTT Project

    Mail your donation together with this sheet to:
    NextSteps Foundation
    The NTT Project
    928 Brookdale Ct.
    O'Fallon IL, 62269
    (618) 628-8821

    For Further information about the program or donating please contact Linda Schultz, Ph.D, CRRN-A at:
    (314) 454-7892
    I never made it to their web site, pretty neat,

    "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
    Gandolf the Gray

    [This message was edited by Leo on 01-21-04 at 08:54 PM.]

  2. #2
    Banned Faye's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    This looks like something we should all definitely chip in for! Thanks Leo for posting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member glomae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    i'm writing OPRAH again for the millionth time.why can't people see how important this is. lol gloria

  4. #4
    Senior Member poonsuzanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Hong Kong, China
    Dr. Young,

    What's your opinion regarding the potential of this research? How about your lab's need, please?

    I think we should evenly distribute our financial resources to several institutes or selectively on one or two!


    [This message was edited by Suzanne Poon on 12-11-03 at 03:58 AM.]

  5. #5

    I think highly of Dr. McDonald and his program of research. Several years ago, I strongly recommended to the W. M. Keck Foundation to fund an embryonic stem cell reesearch center at Washington University. I also know that John is strongly committed to getting therapies into clinical trial. As you know, he has been at the forefront of testing a variety of therapies, including stem cell transplants.

    In our Center, we have a commitment to a wide range of cell transplantation therapies ranging from olfactory ensheathing glia, fetal stem cells, and umbilical cord blood stem cells. We have been seeking funds for some time now from Congress and other sources to develop umbilical cord blood stem cells. We work closely with Ira Black and his group who is developing bone marrow stem cell transplants for spinal cord injury. Much of the work that we have done to date have been funded by the state of New Jersey, NIH, and private donations from people to our Center.

    We have trained many of the pharmaceutical laboratories doing stem cell and other cell transplant studies in the rat spinal cord contusion model; this includes the laboratories of Acorda, Neuronyx, Biogen, and Otsuka. We just finished a workshop here at Rutgers, the fourth one this year and the 20th one to date, training 10 scientists how to do spinal cord injury research. It was very interesting how most of the scientists attending this workshop were most interested in cell transplantation therapy.


  6. #6
    Leo, thx for posting this.

    I had received a copy of this letter about two weeks ago from a friend. Sounds very encouraging.

    Additionally, this friend is also a friend of Dr. McDonald. When she asked John whether she should consider Dr. Huang's OEG procedure in Beijing John told her to wait until he had this process in motion because he believed that it would be better than OEG. There was also a reference to this (Dr. Mcdonald's procedure)being done in South America. Although I don't know how much merit/credence there is to that.

    ...potentially something to think about and consider though...

    All in all very interesting.

    Oh, incidentally, agreed Glomae.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Monroe, LA, USA

    Since this appears to be public knowledge, I have heard from a reputible source that South America is the intended "treatment" location. Like you stated, very intersting indeed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member poonsuzanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Hong Kong, China
    Dr. Young,

    Thank you very much for addressing this issue to us with clarity! I will certainly do my part to enhance the research, eventhough the effect may be minimal.

    wcrabtex, ChrisD, thank you for sharing the information!


  9. #9
    Thanks for sharing this. I have a great deal of hope in Dr. McDonald coming up with something in the near future that will help (dare I say cure?) people suffering with SCI. I believe it's more than a job for him, as wcrabtex stated.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    toronto, canada
    Cool, more good news.

    "... When she asked John (McDonald) whether she should consider Dr. Huang's OEG procedure in Beijing John told her to wait until he had this process in motion because he believed that it would be better than OEG."

    Just a minor comment: I heard the same thing from Dr. McDonald 2 years ago before my Taiwan trip. The point being only this: Although the end result may be superior to OEG, the question, as always, is WHEN?

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