The grant will support Calvi's effort to determine how cells in the bone marrow influence the creation of blood cells. A better understanding could improve survival rates in cancer patients who receive bone marrow transplants. Chemotherapy and radiation kill specialized stem cells in bone that give rise to blood cells, causing anemia and other side effects. Cancer patients often receive bone marrow transplants to help restore their blood cell levels. How they respond to a transplant depends on whether blood-producing cells from the transplanted marrow thrive.
In prior research, Calvi's team discovered that treating bone-forming cells with a related hormone causes blood cell counts to expand, and survival to become more likely, in mice receiving marrow transplants. With the Pew grant, Calvi can now explore whether the addition of parathyroid hormone to human cells has the same effect.
"Dr. Calvi's work is unique, ambitious and holds great potential for patients, all in the spirit of the Pew awards," said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Medical Center. "The award represents a great win for her research effort, and the Pew award program in general, by encouraging researchers to make intellectual leaps, is a boon to medical science."
Since 1985, the Pew Scholars program has provided support to investigators in the early stages of their careers who show "outstanding promise in the basic an
Contact: Greg Williams
University of Rochester Medical Center