Revolutionizing the Possibilities

At the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in a first for medical science, Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., turned skin cells into stem cells that hunt down and destroy brain tumors known as glioblastoma. The work represents the newest evolution of stem- cell technology. Dr. Hingtgen and his team have engineered the stem cells to deliver tumor-killing therapeutic agents. It is a breakthrough that could offer, for the first time in more than 30 years, a new and more effective treatment for the devastating disease.

“Patients desperately need a better standard of care. This is a big step toward a real treatment and making a real difference,” said Dr. Hingtgen.

He envisions the concept being adapted to fight other types of brain cancer, including pediatric cases.

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation is made possible by a $100 million gift from Fred Eshelman to accelerate the creation and development of ideas leading to discoveries and transformative changes in education, research and health care. To learn more about the EII’s impact, visit unceii.org/impact.

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