History and Goals

Our history and goals for Phase I of the COBRE grant focused on neural and hematopoietic stem cells , but with an important additional theme: the impact of aging on stem cell biology. Part of the essence of aging involves fibrosis and cellular senescence. An understanding of the interrelationship between stem cells, senescence and fibrosis are critical to a more complete understanding of the stem cells, their microenvironment, the aging process and their relationship to myeloid or neural diseases of the elderly.

Our Phase I COBRE had become an integral part of the research environment at Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The improved infrastructure had resulted in increased productivity as reflected in publications, presentations, grants and academic advancement. Areas of focus included stem cells, aging, fibrosis, extracellular vesicle biology, pulmonary hypertension, prostate and colorectal cancer, traumatic brain injury, and HIV biology and therapy. Total publications for junior COBRE investigators from initiation of the grant in 2009 to present were 134, with 34 directly related to our Phase I COBRE (NIH reporter). Total extramural support obtained by our grantees (not counting COBRE dollars) for all years was $11,283,095.