THREE TO BE provides critical support to stem cell researchers at our laboratory in the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. Working to unravel the mysteries of childhood neurological disorders, our goal is to develop new therapies that will improve childrens’ future.
Disorders and diseases of the brain represent one of the largest unmet medical needs in Canada, and amongst those, childhood neurological disorders are the most neglected.
Research and Pilot Clinical Trial for Children with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
THREE TO BE is funding research in the laboratories of Dr. Freda Miller at SickKids and Dr. Cindi Morshead at the University of Toronto. They are investigating how to control and activate stem cells in children with acquired brain injuries in order to promote brain repair. THREE TO BE supporters have enabled this cutting-edge research and its potential application to new therapies that will revolutionize treatment of children’s neurological disorders.
Dr. Jing Wang, an Assistant Professor in the Stem Cell Institute at the University?of Ottawa and a Postdoctoral Fellow, has been researching the CBP gene; a gene we now know tells neural stem cells to produce two key brain cell types. Concurrently, other laboratory results showed that the commonly-used type II diabetes drug, metformin, turned on the same CBP pathways in liver cells. This finding led to Dr.Wang’s discovery that metformin, which is used chronically and safely in humans, turns on the CBP pathway in neural stem cells, thereby telling them to create new, functionally important brain cell types.