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March 17, 2015

Maine Med gets bone cell research grant

Maine Medical Center in Portland has received a $234,157 federal grant for bone cell research that could be crucial for treating osteoporosis.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday.

The grant, which was awarded through DHHS’s National Institutes of Health, will allow researchers at the hospital’s Research Institute to continue studying how bone cells can use fuel, like fat and sugar, to support bone growth.

The institute's goal is to figure out how to grow bone cells using fat cells. The announcement said the finding would be considered a breakthrough for treating osteoporosis, a degenerative disease that causes bones to become weak and can lead to fractured bones, especially for older adults.

“Maine is one of the oldest states in the country and our seniors face a number of health challenges, including the prevalent bone disease osteoporosis,” King and Collins said in a joint statement. “The advancements we’re seeing from research conducted right here in Maine could be crucial to developing treatments for those suffering from the everyday complications of this sometimes very debilitating disease. This funding will support new research at Maine Medical Center that could further our understanding of bone growth and potential osteoporosis treatments.”

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