Inaugural Peter Couche Fellow Awarded

By Dr Karlea Kremer, inaugural Peter Couche Foundation Fellow

I would like to thank the Peter Couche Foundation for awarding me the inaugural Peter Couche Foundation Fellowship.

After working in the Stroke Research Program for two years and my own personal family experience, I became very much aware of the need for some sort of treatment for people who have suffered a stroke.

From the studies I was involved in, in my first two years of work here at the Robinson Institute, we showed that stem cells from the dental pulp of molar teeth have the real potential to improve outcomes following stroke in a rat model.

I am excited to be involved now in a study where I will be delivering our dental pulp stem cells via an intravenous route (into a vein instead of a direct injection into the brain that we have previously studied) as this is a much safer and clinically relevant approach to delivery of these cells in a mouse model of stroke.

We are looking at an intravenous approach rather than a direct injection into the brain as in a human patient, delivering stem cells directly into the brain of a person who has just suffered a stroke is not ideal, but giving them via an intravenous route, by which other drugs are administered, appears to be a more realistic method of delivery.

I’ll also be looking at some of the possible mechanisms of how these dental pulp stem cells are exerting their beneficial effects on the brain. It is my aim to complete the study looking at intravenous delivery of dental pulp stem cells into the mouse stroke model after 24 hours by the end of 2012.

I am excited to be involved in the Peter Couche Foundation, and am very grateful to them for giving me this opportunity to be involved in world class research that in the future may have a real impact on the lives of people who have suffered a stroke.