Biology professor Arnold Caplan receives lifetime achievement award

Arnold CaplanArnold I. Caplan, professor of biology and director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, received the MSC Lifetime Achievement Award in August. He was honored at the National Center for Regenerative Medicine’s Mesenchymal Stem Cell conference.

Caplan is the founding director of the conference, which began in 2007 and has since drawn thousands of national and international leaders in translational adult stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

MSC refers to Mesenchymal Stem Cells, which have the same basic features of all stem cells but are “unspecified” cells and possess the ability to self-renew and differentiate into specialized cells with specific functions. Since most MSCs are derived from cells that sit outside every blood vessel in the body, it is understood that these cells serve as sentinels to help guard tissues from intruders and function to assist the tissue to regenerate itself following injury.

“I am truly honored by this recognition and indebted to all of my collaborating colleagues for assisting in the research that lead to this award,” Caplan said.

Caplan’s research refines the technology necessary to isolate the mesenchymal stem cell. The MSC gives rise to bone-forming cells, cartilage-forming cells and cells of tendon, ligament fat, and dermis, as well as various connective tissues including the stroma of marrow. His studies integrate the work of both basic scientists and clinicians to more effectively translate these basic science findings into new, innovative human health care protocols using tissue engineering to repair skeletal tissues.

“Dr. Caplan has developed, moved and excited the field of cell therapy beyond his peers and inspired a worldwide effort,” said Stanton Gerson, executive director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine. “We are proud to recognize his years of service and leadership, creative spirit and commitment to fostering scientific collaboration, excellence and advancement in Mesenchymal Stem Cell research.”