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Dr. Linda Howard

Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine, NUI Galway
Phone: 
+353 91 495268
linda.howard@nuigalway.ie
This image shows MSCs isolated from 4 healthy donors. Undifferentiated cells have a fibroblastic morphology. After treatment to trigger adipogenesis (fat formation) some of the cells become filled with fat, these are stained red in this image.

Linda investigates how microRNAs regulate the differentiation of MSCs.

Linda is also interested in the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells, particularly looking at the nervous, heart and musculoskeletal system.

Researcher in

Research Project Area: 

We are interested in how microRNAs regulate the differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells. miRNAs are short non-coding RNAs which are important during development and which are known to regulate other kinds of stem cells.

We are also interested in the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells, particularly in the nervous system, heart and musculoskeletal system.

Positions Held: 

2007-present:
M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine Course Coordinator
NUI Galway

2005-present:
Senior Stem Cell Investigator
REMEDI
Mechanisms Regulating Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation

2000-2004:
Scientist Osiris Therapeutics, Baltimore, MD, USA
Characterisation and analysis of adult stem cells

1997-2000:
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA Cloning, characterisation and functional analysis of cell surface proteolytic enzymes

1995-1997:
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Lombardi Cancer Center,
Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA
Investigating the role of proteolytic enzymes in tumour cell invasion and metastasis.

1991-1994:
Ph.D. Student
Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Leicester, UK

1987-1991:
Undergraduate Student
Microbiology and Microbial Technology University of Warwick,
Coventry, UK
 

Team Members: 
Selected Publications: 

Moloney TC, Rooney GE, Barry FP, Howard L, Dowd E. Potential of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells as vehicles for delivery of neurotrophins to the Parkinsonian rat brain.  Brain Res. 2010 Nov 4;1359:33-43. Epub 2010 Aug 21.

Moloney TC, Dockery P, Windebank AJ, Barry FP, Howard L, Dowd E.  Survival and immunogenicity of mesenchymal stem cells from the green fluorescent protein transgenic rat in the adult rat brain. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2010 Sep;24(7):645-56. Epub 2010 Apr 8.
 

Rooney GE, McMahon SS, Ritter T, Garcia Y, Moran C, Madigan NN, Flügel A, Dockery P, O'Brien T, Howard L, Windebank AJ, Barry FP.  Neurotrophic factor-expressing mesenchymal stem cells survive transplantation into the contused spinal cord without differentiating into neural cells. Tissue Eng Part A. 2009 Oct;15(10):3049-59.

Rooney GE, Howard L, O'Brien T, Windebank AJ, Barry FP.  Elevation of cAMP in mesenchymal stem cells transiently upregulates neural markers rather than inducing neural differentiation.  Stem Cells Dev. 2009 Apr;18(3):387-98.

Sharif F, Hynes SO, Cooney R, Howard L, McMahon J, Daly K, Crowley J, Barry F, O'Brien T.  Gene-eluting stents: adenovirus-mediated delivery of eNOS to the blood vessel wall accelerates re-endothelialization and inhibits restenosis.  Mol Ther. 2008 Oct;16(10):1674-80. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

Neuhuber B, Swanger SA, Howard L, Mackay A, Fischer I. 2008 “Effects of plating density and culture time on bone marrow stromal cell characteristics.” Exp Hematol

Rooney, G.E., Moran, C., McMahon, S.S., Ritter, T., Maenz, M., Flügel, A., Dockery, P., O’ Brien, T., Howard, L., Windebank, A.J., Barry, F.P. (2008) “Gene-Modified Mesenchymal Stem Cells express functionally active Nerve Growth Factor on an engineered poly lactic glycolic acid (PLGA) substrate.” Tissue Engineering.
 

Poster Presentations

T.C. Moloney, G. Rooney, P. Dockery, F.P. Barry, A.J. Windebank, L. Howard, E. Dowd
“Mesenchymal Stem Cells From The Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter Rat Survive For Up To Two Months In The Hemi-Parkinsonian Rat Brain But Induce A Pronounced Phagocytic Immune Response”.   Neuroscience Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Annette Enright, Sabine Schmidt, Lisa McGinley, Eleanor Donnelly, Enda O'Connell, Vladimir Benes, Frank Barry and Linda Howard “Investigating the role of MicroRNAs in human mesenchymal stem cells behaviour.”  Biochemical Society Meeting “MicroRNAs and the regulation of biological function.” London, UK
 

Annette Enright, Sabine Schmidt, Lisa McGinley, Eleanor Donnelly, Enda O'Connell, Vladimir Benes, Frank Barry and Linda Howard “Investigating the role of MicroRNAs in human mesenchymal stem cells behaviour.”  ISGCT meeting Cork, Ireland
 

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