Colorado State University has announced the launch of a new fund devoted to feline stem cell research. Frankie’s Fund, established in July, will support research into how adult feline stem cells may be used to treat injuries and diseases in cats.
Frankie was a Siamese cat that became ill with acute kidney failure as a result of medication she received for an inflammatory mouth condition. Frankie participated in a CSU stem cell therapy clinical trial for cats with kidney failure in 2009. Her owner decided to establish Frankie’s Fund to advance feline medicine, particularly in regards to stem cell therapies.
“Having lived in Boulder for decades, I was well aware of the national reputation of Colorado State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” said Deborah Felin Magaldi, Frankie’s owner. Magaldi is involved with several cat rescues and shelters, and initiated the fund to help advance stem cell research for cats as well as humans. “Frankie was my best friend. She just happened to be a cat. Generously, she never held it against me that I was not.”
Frankie’s Fund will support research and future clinical trials for stem cell therapy targeting acute and chronic kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease, and possibly asthma. A study of stem cell therapy for chronic kidney disease is currently accepting new participants (see related article).
“The establishment of Frankie’s Fund allows Colorado State University to continue to pursue stem cell therapy research and treatments for cats – something that is not widely available,” said Dr. Jessica Quimby, Frankie’s veterinarian at CSU. “This fund allows us to develop our research program to gain a better understanding of the biology of stem cells, how they function, and what treatments they may offer for various feline diseases.”
Frankie was given home care for damage to her kidneys for several years before enrolling in the CSU program. She lived in Boulder until her recent death from cancer shortly before her 13th birthday. If you would like to make a gift to Frankie's Fund in support of feline stem cell research, visit the College’s secure online giving site at https://advancing.colostate.edu/frankiesfund