Defense Department Funds Louisville Medical Research

by scrosby on August 31, 2009

Research being conducted in Louisville received a one-point-six million dollar boost from the U.S. Department of Defense today. The money will be used to move the research from the laboratory to the clinic.

The University of Louisville’s Dr. Suzanne Ildstad has been working to make bone marrow transplant treatments safer and easier. She says the treatments are helpful in treatment diseases like multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease, and even helps with organ or limb transplants.

“It turns out, if I transplant bone marrow from the same donor as a kidney or a hand, you’re transplanting the immune system, so instead of trying to reject the hand, it gets accepted without needing drugs,” says Ildstad.

It’s the treatment supporting limb transplants that got the interest of the Defense Department, since some soldiers who are injured in battle lose a limb. Ildstad says they haven’t yet used the treatment on a hand recipient.

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