Dr. Amritha Jaishankar manages the MSCRF active award portfolio, on behalf of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). In this role, Dr. Jaishankar is responsible for scientific management and oversight of MSCRF research projects and interacts with stem cell scientists state-wide to develop a collaborative research program and to help promote commercialization of stem cell technologies in Maryland. The MSCRF program, which aims to accelerate cures through innovative basic, translational and clinical applications of human stem cell research, has funded over 375 research projects totaling over $130 million.
Dr. Jaishankar brings over 10 years of experience in stem cell research in federal, university and industry settings. Prior to joining the stem cell program at TEDCO, she was a scientist and founding member of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, developing cures for schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders in partnership with AstraZeneca. She has a Master of Science in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester, UK; a PhD in Genetics from Penn State University; and commenced her postdoctoral training as a visiting scientist at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She has more than 10 years of expertise in human pluripotent and adult stem cell biology and their use in exploratory research, patient-specific disease modeling and assay development for pharmaceutical applications, and is passionate about using stem cell technologies to accelerate cures for patients in need.