STEM CELL RESEARCH
Our lab has recently determined that the introduction of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) at the site of the aneurysm results in increased cell growth over the entrance of the aneurysm. This difference in cell growth can potentially restore the natural shape of the blood vessel. MSCs are a select type of cell that can turn into many different kinds of tissue, including blood vessels. The normalization of vessel shape prevents the abnormal flow of blood into the aneurysm, eliminating the risk of rupture. While these results show MSCs as a potential replacement or adjunct therapy to traditional endovascular coiling, little is known about the mechanism by which these stem cells assist in repairing aneurysms or the optimal conditions under which this occurs.
Neuroscience PhD Candidate
This project is headed by neuroscience PhD Student Brooke Belanger. With a BSc in Biological Sciences and minor in Fine Arts, Brooke had a deep interest in learning how to solve problems with her hands. Learning neurosurgical techniques and the gaps in knowledge that were associated with them, she decided to tackle those issues. With her background in graphic design, distributing knowledge about the seriousness of brain aneurysms has become one of her passions.