2002 A superior soybean nitrogen fixation inoculant Southeast

Award Year 

Endothelial cells are crucial components ofbasic physiological processes such as tumorgrowth, wound healing, graft rejection,inflammation, circulation, and immunefunction. Most ofthese processes occurat the blood vessellevel. The veryqualities ofendothelial cellspresent a problem forresearchers becausethey are difficult toisolate and have alimited life span. As aresult, scientists havehad to use highlyvariable human tissueor live animals toconduct experiments. When Dr. Edwin Ades’research was stymied because of the inabilityto maintain a dependable source of cells, herecognized the (more) need for an immortalized cellline. This led Dr. Ades and Francisco Candal,both of the CDC, to create the HumanMicrovascular Endothelial Cell Line (HMEC-1)—the first immortalized humanmicrovascular endothelial cell line that retainsthe morphological, phenotypical, andfunctional characteristics of normal cells.Dr. Ades and Candal were able to move thedevelopment of HMEC-1 forward throughinter-institutional and licensing agreement withEmory University. Specifically, the universitysupplied the human cells for the HMEC-1 experiments. This technology has beensuccessfully marketed through the originalpaper describing HMEC-1. This paper hasachieved the status of being a classic in itsfield, having been cited in nearly 250 scientificpublications according to the ISI ScienceCitation Index.The HMEC-1 cell line is now used as analternative to animal testing in the cosmeticand pharmaceutical industries to screen newcompounds and drugs for toxicity to skin. Thecells are also used to produce and harvestcellular products used in cancer screeningprotocols. In addition, HMEC-1 is used tocoat vascular prostheses, such as stints, toreduce rejection. The technology has becomea vital basic research tool in many fields suchas immunology, wound healing, and viralinfection. (less)