On Deck-Dr. Steve Stice

We read about the promise of stem cells in the news every day. They could prove to be ”magic bullets” for curing diseases like Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s, MS and others. Stem Cell Research is also surrounded with controversy as currently cells are often harvested from human embryos and fetuses.I believe top researchers will prove to be the voice of reason in the human stem cell debate as they are the ones best positioned to know the risks, limitations and potential.  

For our August Profile, I am honored to be featuring Dr. Steve Stice. I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Stice both in his role as Professor and Director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center and Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowed Chair at the University of Georgia and as Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Aruna Biomedical.

He has over 16 years of research and development experience in biotechnology and is a co-founder of five biotechnology companies.  He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend magazine.  He produced the first cloned rabbit in 1987 and the first cloned transgenic calves in 1998 (George and Charlie).  In 1997 his group produced the first genetically modified embryonic stem cell derived pigs and cattle.  This research led to publications in Science and Nature journals, national news coverage (CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN) and the first US patents on cloning animals and cattle embryonic stem cells.  In 2001, Dr. Stice announced the first cloned animal (calf) from an animal that was dead for 48 hours.  In 2005, his stem cell group published the first work on deriving motor neurons from stem cells.  Motor neurons are damaged lost during the progression of several diseases such as ALS and spinal muscular atrophy.  Throughout his career he has published and lectured on cloning and stem cell technologies.  Prior to joining the University of Georgia, Dr. Stice was a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, a company developing cloning and stem cell technology.

Here is What is  Currently Hot in the Stice Lab:
New neural stem cells technology developed in my lab was transferred to a commercial entity, Aruna biomedical. This is the first commercialized product derived from human embryonic stem cell using federally approved stem cell lines.

  • We have produced neurons that have neural functions
  • We are working with the Navy to use our neural cells as biosensors for environmental toxins 
  • We have vascular stem cells that have characteristics that may make them suitable for  transplantation
  • We collaborate with a new company call Aruna BioMedical  that will stem cells for neural research and drug discovery
  • Developed a method to test new compounds for Alzheimer’s disease using our neural stem cell
  • We are one of five NIH stem cell training centers and have taught Scientists from Georgia to Bombay India new stem cell techniques
  • In Georgia, we produced over 50 cloned calves and 100 cloned pigs.
  • We were also the first to produce a clone from an animal that had been dead for 48 hours. This opens new opportunities in agriculture and preserving endangered species.