The Commission elects next Vice-Chair

COLUMBIA, Md. (September 20, 2021)— The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission) has approved funding to the first round of FY2022 recipients for a total of $1,295,280. With these Clinical and Validation awards, the Commission continues to accelerate cutting-edge research and cures through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF).

MSCRFThe Commission also elected Diane Hoffmann, appointed by the University System of Maryland, to serve as the next Vice-Chair. Diane E. Hoffmann, J.D., M.S., is the Jacob A. France Professor of Health Care Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and Director of the law school’s Law & Health Care Program. 

“I’m excited to welcome Diane as Vice-Chair of the Commission, as her expertise and experience, as well as her commitment to the MSCRF are ideal for helping us deliver on our mission. I am also deeply grateful to Dr. Curt Van Tassell for his service as Vice-Chair over the past two years,” said Dr. Debra Mathews, chair of the Commission. “The Commission, as always, is committed to Accelerating Cures and we are delighted to support these new awards to enable the vital work of developing treatments for patients in Maryland and beyond.”

The first round of MSCRF awards for the 2022 fiscal year include:

  • 2 Clinical: This award is for Universities/Research Institutes or Companies that wish to conduct human stem cell-based clinical trials in the State of Maryland. $535,342 was awarded to Brian Miller at Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc. towards developing Extracorporeal Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Severe Sepsis Complicated by Acute Kidney Injury. $529,938 was awarded to Dr. Heather Symons from Johns Hopkins University to apply Regenerative Medicine to Restore Hematopoiesis and Immune Function in Immunodeficiencies and Inherited Bone Marrow Failures. 
  • 1 Validation: This award is for faculty at Maryland-based Universities/Research institutes (not federal labs) with IP for human stem cell-based technologies that require additional validation before creation of start-up companies. Totaling $230,000, the validation grant was awarded to Dr. Warren Grayson from Johns Hopkins University to elucidate the Mechanism of Action of Adipose-derived Stem Cells in Oxygen-Enhanced Bone Regeneration.

“We are pleased to add these recent recipients to our portfolio and to support them in developing novel solutions for critical, unmet medical needs”, said Dr. Amritha Jaishankar, executive director of MSCRF. “These awards exemplify our mission and urgency to advance stem cell research and technologies to create cures, reduce disease burden on patients, and also reduce overall health care costs.”

Established under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006, the MSCRF promotes state-funded stem cell research and cures through grants to both public and private entities in Maryland. MSCRF is currently budgeted to commit up to $8.2 million, in aggregate, in FY2022 to fund grants under all of its RFAs. 

More information about all current MSCRF awardees is available at MSCRF offers funding through six different programs to Accelerate Cures. The next round of RFAs will be released in early November. To learn more and apply visit

About the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission 
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission is focused on identifying and fostering cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of regenerative medicine in Maryland. Our Accelerating Cures initiative comprises programs that help transition human stem cell-based technologies from the bench to the bedside as well as mechanisms to build and grow stem cell companies in Maryland. Visit us at to learn more about our funding opportunities.

TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

Amritha Jaishankar, PhD
Executive Director, MSCRF