A research scientist at the University of Ottawa received close to $500,000 in funding for a project to develop a new strategy for spinal cord regeneration.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council awarded a grant to Professor Xudong Cao under the Collaborative Health Research Projects program.

In his research, Cao proposes the use of a biodegradable nerve guide that promotes cell regeneration by recruiting the patient’s own cells to repair the spinal cord.

The knowledge gained from this project creates an entirely new stem cell therapy approach that could be extended to other organ systems and lead to advancements in the understanding of the therapeutic potential of stem cells.

Cao is working with Dr. Eve Tsai, an assistant professor in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, associate scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a well-known neurosurgeon, and Dr. May Griffith, assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute.