What People are Saying

"Steve is one of our best examples. Around him we've built one of the country's leading stem cell research programs. He's doing things that benefit Georgia, developing intellectual property that becomes the basis for new Georgia companies..."

Scott Angle, Dean of UGA's College of Agricultural and Environmental Science

What a difference a decade makes. Just over 10 years ago, the University of Georgia lured a young scientist named Steve Stice from Massachusetts to pioneer a program in animal biotechnology – an area that was mysterious to many and scary to some.

Today that start-up program is recognized around the world as a leader in cloning and stem cell technology development. Stice is seasoned in the program's leading role, but he's still part dreamer, constantly asking those "what if" questions that fuel innovation.

Looking over his long list of discoveries, one has to ask: "How does he think this stuff up?" The answer appears to be that he has born brilliance with a dash of boyish curiosity.

Discoveries at UGA

When he cloned the world's first calf from a carcass at UGA in 2002, he named her KC after the kidney cell from which she was created. KC soon proved clones can reproduce naturally when she birthed a calf. Stice let students in his lab name the new baby Sunshine – a reference to the '70s pop band K.C. and the Sunshine Band. READ MORE

Ground Breaking

New Toxicant Detection Tool

As more scientists began investigating the effects of toxicant exposure and links to abnormal fetal development, three University of Georgia researchers discovered a more efficient, accurate and cost-effective way to conduct these studies using cells in a petri dish. READ MORE

By experimenting with stem cells in pigs, the scientists learn how to make stem cells work in humans. The researchers expect to change the genetics of pig stem cells and human stem cells, and eliminate organ and tissue rejection. Dr. Stice said that he is trying to make cells that hopefully will not be rejected by the human immune system. It is possible that young people who suffer from type I diabetes today could benefit from that research well within their lifetime. This technology also could be used to save endangered species like the dying lions of the Serengeti. It could be possible to collect cells from some of deceased lions and turn them into stem cells and use them for cloning or re-introducing the genetics back into the population. READ MORE
“The advantage of our technology is that we can grow over 10 billion cells and basically plug them into existing assays, whether it is for cell survival or apoptosis. Really anything that you can do with adherent live cells, you can do with our cells,” Stice said. “We started with an assay for ion channels, particularly α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, or AMPA,” Stice said. A number of pharmaceutical companies have programs to increase the responses of AMPA, and it can be used as a way of increasing cognitive function in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia, he explained.READ MORE

On the Cutting Edge

For someone like Ron Grabb, who has gotten to know Stice the hard way, this is potentially miraculous news.“I’m enthused about the work Steve Stice is doing, because I’ve dedicated my life to helping find a cure for Parkinson’s,” says Grabb, 59, who found out six years ago he has the disease. Grabb has visited Stice’s lecture hall to talk with students about Parkinson’s, a neuro-degenerative disease that causes its victims to shake involuntarily, to struggle against seizing muscles and sporadic speech patterns that often sound like choked tears. “I was a teacher, but I had to give that up because of the shaking in my hands. My students couldn’t read my writing,” Grabb says. “Those stem cells are the best hope I have. I’m optimistic that they’ll lead to a cure in my lifetime.” READ MORE


With $20 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies, dubbed CMaT, will bring together RBC researchers, industry partners, clinicians, engineers, cell biologists and immunologists.

"Partnerships of this nature-that span different universities and sectors-are critical to advancing human health around the world," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, "and I want to congratulate Dr. Stice and his team at the University of Georgia for helping to drive this important research center." READ MORE

NIIMBL — 11th institute under the Manufacturing USA National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

The University of Georgia is partnering in a biopharmaceutical innovation institute that aims to boost market production of cell-based therapies and develop a skilled workforce trained for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

NIIMBL represents a total investment of $250 million, including $129 million in private cost-share commitments from the NIIMBL consortium of 150 companies, nonprofits, educational institutions and state partners across the country, combined with at least $70 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"We are pleased to have UGA participate in these high-profile public-private partnerships that are aimed at advancing U.S. leadership in key manufacturing sectors,"said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. READ MORE