The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission) has approved funding for 25 awards for a total of $7,140,901. The Commission also announced that the keynote speaker at the annual symposium will be Sally Temple Ph.D., Scientific Director at the Neural Stem Cell Institute located in Rensselaer, New York.

“Maryland is proud to be recognized as a national leader in the life sciences and scientific research,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I would like to congratulate this year’s award recipients that represent the values and goals of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund – to accelerate efforts to develop cures for all.”

Established by the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) promotes state-funded stem cell research and cures through grants to both public and private entities in Maryland. To date, over $147 million and over 430 grants have been committed. Next year (FY2019), the program has a budget of $8.2 million.

“This year’s award recipients are true representatives of the medical innovation and advancements that we strive to cultivate throughout the state,” said David Mosser, The Commission Chair. “We are excited to be able to support projects and companies from early research through clinical trials.”

Both the Commission and the MSCRF are administered by TEDCO, the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market.

This year’s MSCRF awards include:

  • 2 Clinical: This award is designed for clinical stem cell researchers from organizations that wish to conduct clinical trials in Maryland using human stem cells to advance medical therapies. Totaling $1,400,000, the clinical award recipients are Dr. Luis Garza of Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Anthony Oliva of Longeveron, LLC.
  • 1 Commercialization: These awards assist with the creation of start-up companies or new technologies developed in Maryland-based companies. Totaling $299,005, the commercialization award recipient is Dr. Luiz Alvarez of Theradaptic, Inc.
  • 2 Validation: These grant awards foster the transition of promising stem cell technologies having significant commercial potential from universities and research labs to the commercial sector. Totaling $460,000, this year’s validation awards are presented to Dr. Warren Grayson of Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Tonya Webb of University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  • 12 Discovery: These awards fund new innovative research ideas in the stem cell field without preliminary data. Totaling $3,941,896.00, the discovery award recipients included seven researchers from Johns Hopkins University (Dr. Samarjit Das, Dr. Valina Dawson, Dr. Gabsang Lee, Dr. Pankaj Pasricha, Dr. Arun Venkatesan, Dr. Hilary Vernon, and Dr. Jiou Wang); and five researchers from University of Maryland, Baltimore (Dr. Ricardo Feldman, Dr. Xiaofeng Jia, Dr. Minjung Kim, Dr. Rachana Mishra, and Dr. Satoru Otsuru).
  • 8 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: This award supports exceptional post-doctoral fellows who wish to conduct research in academia or in industry in Maryland. Each fellowship will be up to $65,000 per year, for up to two years. Totaling $1,040,000, award recipients include seven researchers from Johns Hopkins University (Dr. Adriana Blazeski, Dr. Kenji Johnson, Dr. Minseong Kim, Dr. Mehreen Kouser, Dr. Su Chan Lee, Dr. Seungman Park, and Dr. Wei Zhu) and one researcher from University of Maryland, Baltimore (Dr. Muthukumar Gunasekaran).

“Thanks to their tireless work and proven successes, these individuals are pioneering real scientific progress here in Maryland.” said George Davis, CEO of TEDCO. “The grant awards foster the transition of some of the most promising technologies, and we’re honored to have a significant role in their growth.”

“This kind of funding and subsequent opportunity is invaluable to these projects, and to the growth of Maryland,” said Dr. Dan Gincel, MSCRF Executive Director. “The 2018 symposium will be an opportunity for networking and inspiration. The event will showcase some of the most prestigious researchers in the field, and keynote Sally Temple is an exemplary representation of the forward-thinking innovation we strive for.”

All MSCRF-funded research must be conducted in Maryland and must involve human stem cells. For more details about the fund and the recent reward recipients, visit

About the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission 

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) was established by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 to promote State-funded stem cell research and cures through grants and loans to public and private entities in the State. Administered by The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the MSCRF is overseen by an independent Commission that sets policy and develops criteria, standards and requirements for applications to the Fund. For more information about the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, please visit


TEDCO (the Maryland Technology Development Corporation) enhances economic development growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology companies in Maryland.

Media Contact
Tammi Thomas, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, TEDCO