PIs: Pamela Moalli, Kyle Orwig, and Caroline Gargett

Title: Vaginal Stem Cells: The Missing Link in Vaginal Reconstruction

Description: An increasing number of women are seeking vaginal reconstruction surgery to repair tissue loss after surgery for pelvic cancers or following ovariectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, which can result in the vagina becoming contracted, thinned and painful. After noticing the limited range of biomaterials for these procedures, Moalli was inspired to develop better solutions. This project seeks to identify stem cell populations that restore vaginal structure and function and isolate the cellular ecosystems needed for stem cell survival, proliferation and engraftment. The researchers will use a novel bioassay to develop vaginal organoids from vaginal stem cells.

Source: Magee-Womens Research Institute, funded by the Richard King Mellon Foundation

Term: 10/1/21 – 6/30/22

Amount: $1,000,000