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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Noted Stem Cell Scientist Joins University Of Pittsburgh Faculty

PITTSBURGH, May 5, 2003 A noted researcher from France has joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh with appointments in the School of Medicine, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). He is Bruno Peault, Ph.D., who has been appointed professor in the departments of pediatrics and cell biology in the School of Medicine and to core faculty positions at the McGowan Institute and UPCI.

Dr. Peaults research focus is on stem cells related to cancer, and specifically on hematopoietic stem cells, those coming from bone marrow and blood. His research interests also include work on diabetes and cystic fibrosis, a devastating genetic condition involving the overproduction of thick mucus in the lungs, which results in scarring of the tissue and often leads to early death.

Dr. Peault is an internationally recognized scientist, said Alan Russell, Ph.D., director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His recruitment raises the bar for stem cell research in Pittsburgh.

Among Dr. Peaults projects is a comparison of adult-derived and embryonic stem cells. This is a basic question in developmental biology because nobody knows, Dr. Peault said of the cell study.

Our understanding of how stem cells influence the development of disease may revolutionize the science and practice of medicine, said David Perlmutter, M.D., chairman of the department of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and scientific director of Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Peaults work is a real example of how basic science research can have a major impact on patients lives.

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Dr. Peault was a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. He also was a department director at the National Institute for Medical and Health Research at Paul Brousse Hospital.

He received a doctorate from the University of Nantes, and a national doctorate in Paris. In addition, Dr. Peault did post-doctoral study with Irving Weissman, M.D., professor of cancer biology, cell and developmental biology at Stanford University Medical Center in California.

"We are very excited to have a researcher of Dr. Peaults stature join our faculty, said UPCI director Ronald B. Herberman, M.D. His expertise will be a great addition to the field of stem cell research in Pittsburgh and allow us to more effectively pursue their applications for the treatment of major diseases such as cancer.

Dr. Peault and his colleagues will have laboratory space in Childrens Hospital of Pittsburghs Rangos Research Center, the McGowan Institute and at the Hillman Cancer Center of UPCI.

I am looking forward to continuing my work in Pittsburgh, said Dr. Peault, whose first priority is building a laboratory support team. Everyone has been very welcoming already, and it is exciting to be part of such a supportive environment for work in the life sciences.

A portion Dr. Peaults recruitment was funded by part of a $5 million gift from the Mario Lemieux Foundation to UPCI. The remainder was funded by an anonymous donor to the McGowan Institute and by Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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