Professor Martin Grumet has worked on nervous system development and spinal cord injury using stem cell transplants. Dr. Grumet’s lab is now focusing on the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to modulate inflammation after spinal cord injury. Because MSC disappear rapidly after intravenous injection, his lab has developed techniques to encapsulate the cells in alginate microspheres and inject then into the CNS. The alginate is inert and allows nutrients and waste to pass across its semi-permeable barrier, which allows cells in the capsules to survive for long periods after transplantation. The alginate also allows passage of cytokines, which is particularly important because MSC respond to inflammation by secreting anti-inflammatory cytokines. We have shown that encapsulated MSC suppress inflammation acutely after spinal cord injury. In recent studies we found that encapsulated MSC reduce inflammatory cytokines in animal models for sepsis.