Welcome to the E-newsletter of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures April, 2016! Below are a few articles that caught our eye this month. Enjoy.

2016 Luncheon Honoring Jim and Diny Landen

Diny Landen and Jim Landen

The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures honored Jim and Diny Landen at its annual Lifesaver luncheon held April 18, 2016. This was the organization’s fourteenth annual luncheon recognizing individuals who have long supported medical research in the state and specifically embryonic stem cell research.

Jim and Diny Landen have been active in the local business and non-profit communities for more than 25 years. They both graduated from Southern Methodist University with business degrees, and returned to Omaha in 1987 to continue their business activities and raise their three sons.

Read more here.

Lunch and Learn about Stem Cell Science with Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov

Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov and Dr. David Crouse

On April 22, 2016 the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures hosted a free Lunch and Learn with Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov on stem cell science.

Born in Kazakhstan, Shoukhrat Mitalipov is a biologist who today heads the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He is known for discovering a controversial genetic therapy that may be a way to prevent mitochondrial diseases, a disorder that occurs when structures that produce energy for a cell malfunction, as well as his discovery in 2013 describing a new way of creating human stem cells from skin cells.

Read more here.

Dr. Kielian gets Maurer Scientific Achievement Award

Dr. Tammy Kielian NCLC

Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., professor of pathology and microbiology, received the Harold M. Maurer, M.D. & Beverly Maurer Scientific Achievement Award at the 14th Annual Tribute Spring Luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

Dr. Kielian was recognized for her research on juvenile Batten disease, a neurodegenerative condition that first presents with blindness around 5-10 years of age, then progresses to seizures, cognitive and motor loss, dementia and premature death.

Read more here.

New Mitalipov Paper on Stem Cell Mitochondria: Challenge for IPS Cell Field

stem cell research in Nebraska

A new paper from Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s lab on stem cell mitochondria points to a pattern whereby induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells tend to have more problems if they are from older patients.

What does this paper mean for the stem cell field and could it impact more specifically the clinical applications of IPS cells?

Read more here.

A Visual Guide on Using Stem Cells to Treat Blindness


Some stories are so sweet or powerful or wonderful – or all three – that they just stick in your mind.

About 18 months ago Rosalinda and German Barrero came to talk to the CIRM Board about retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a devastating genetic disease that slowly destroys a person’s vision. Contrary to what everyone expected to hear, German said that he was grateful that Rosalinda had RP for one reason: that was how he met her!

Read more here.

Upcoming Events

May 10: Science Cafe
Ali S. Khan, M.D., Dean of the College of Public Health at UNMC presents “Public Health Heats Up: Global and Local Impacts of Climate Disruption”. Learn more here.
May 25: Omaha Gives 2016
Support the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures by donating via Omaha Gives on May 25, 2016. Give here.