Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Meet The Researcher | Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D.) | July 31, 2015
is currently working in Dr.
Xiao-Dong Chen’s lab to obtain
better populations of stem cells.
idea is that if we can find cells that are “stronger,” we can improve the
efficacy of existing stem cell therapies and maybe enable brand new ones,”
Block said. “It’s easy to feel passionate about the work I’m doing because I
have a mentor whose focus is always on how our research can help patients.”
Block was recently selected along with Elizabeth
Fucich, Mariam Ishaque, and Huynh (Nancy) Nga for the prestigious Translational Science Training (TST) TL1 Scholar Award,
from the UTHSCSA’s Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS).
“The award gives me flexibility to pursue some ideas
with my project that I, otherwise, might not have,” Block said.
Block plans to travel to conferences such as the World Stem Cell Summit and the Association for Clinical and Translational Science to talk about his work and learn about other ideas from researchers in
“I just got back from the Gordon Conference on the Biology of Aging, and it was a really great experience,” Block said. “I
had the opportunity to share my work with labs from around the world, and I got
some interesting ideas from other groups that I plan to incorporate into my
One of the ways he is able to innovate is by talking through every
experiment with Dr. Chen, and Milos Marinkovic, another grad student in his
“We all think about things very differently,
and its resulted in some really unique ideas,” Block said. “I’ve been very
lucky to have the opportunity to learn from both of them, and to take advantage
of their knowledge and creativity in my project.”
Block hopes that his research improves the
clinical outcomes of stem cell treatments.
“I think that my work has a lot of potential
for translation, and I hope that my project can be implemented in industry and
the clinic,” Block said. “More broadly, I hope that when other scientists see
my work it encourages them to look at problems from a different perspective.”
This article is part of the "Meet The Researcher" series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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