KRAUSE’S GROVE, 2 Beach Road, Halfmoon, NY


1:00 PM TO 6:00 PM ~ RAIN OR SHINE

$30.00 per adult ticket at gate - $20.00 for children under 12

includes donation to Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

5 hour picnic with soda, beer, games, raffles, 50/50, live music




Abundant food and dessert being served 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to join a pre-picnic motorcycle cavalcade around the beautiful Tomhannock Reservoir in Ali’s honor will meet at the Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street at 10:00 A.M. for sign up and the cavalcade will kick off at 11:00 A.M. sharp.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Rally4Ali

For Further Information


For the Run, Wally Urzan


For the Picnic & Cause

Alison Fisk


Monday, April 30, 2012


Lisa Biermann has been dedicated to the improvement of her son’s quality of life. Thus far, she has experienced the miracle of hearing her son speak, as well as many other accomplishments, after she was told he would never be able to perform everyday tasks.

Biermann diagnosed with cerebral palsy
at birth

By Pamela Cote
Staff Writer
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012 6:03 AM CDT
Tyler Biermann is a lot like other sixth grade boys. He loves working on his computer, playing video games, riding a bike and watching television. He has a silly sense of humor and is very curious about the world around him.

What makes Tyler so very special is the great physical hurdles he has overcome in the past 12 years of his life to be able to do the things that most boys his age seem to do so effortlessly.

When Tyler was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, causing a lack of oxygen to his brain that led to Tyler suffering a stroke during delivery. The stroke caused damage to the back of Tyler’s brain. Tyler was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and his mother, Lisa Biermann, was told to expect the worst: a child who would never walk, talk, or have any chance at a normal life.

Lisa refused to give up hope. She tried everything she could to help Tyler. Tyler could not walk because his feet would not sit flat on the floor. She tried botox injections every three months, braces, casts and even ankle cord surgery. Nothing worked.

Lisa said Tyler could not communicate with her at all. She never knew when he was in pain because he was unable to tell her.

Tyler was considered to be blind, with a prescription that was over nine units nearsighted, and his eyes jumped around. Even with glasses, he could not focus his vision, and doctors did not believe he could see, or ever would see.

Until he was 8 years old, Lisa would carry Tyler from his classes at Woodland Park Elementary.

When Tyler was 8, he had a seizure. Dr. David Steenblock, who is based in California, heard about Tyler and offered to help him with umbilical cord stem cell therapy. Lisa said she thought hard about it, and because she had tried everything else and nothing had worked, she decided to try the stem cell therapy, which Dr. Steenblock told her had no side effects.

In December 2007, Lisa, Dr. Steenblock and his team took Tyler for the treatment, which had to be done in Tijuana, Mexico, because stem cells injection is currently not legal in the United States. Three months later, they went for a second injection.

The stem cells were given to Tyler intravenously for a period of approximately 45 minutes.

Lisa said within weeks, she saw monumental changes in Tyler. All the milestones he never reached as a baby, he began reaching.

Within three months Tyler could put his feet flat on the floor and could walk independently. At six months post-treatment, he no longer needed the painful braces that gave him bunions.

Also within the first three months, Tyler took off his glasses and told Lisa, “no see, Mom.” When Lisa took Tyler to the eye doctor, his vision had improved from nine units nearsighted to 5.5. At six months post-treatment he had improved to four units. He is now at about 1 unit nearsighted and his doctor does not believe that he needs to wear his glasses. Even more impressive is that he can communicate and answer questions posed by the eye doctor.

In fact, Tyler, who could not communicate at all before his stem cell treatment, can now say hundreds of words. He can recite the alphabet. Tyler can spell and is even starting to read. He makes the honor roll and has received two spotlight awards from school for his progress.

Tyler helps with household chores, can walk up and down the stairs and pour himself something to drink. In December, he decided that he wanted to ride a bike and could not be discouraged from trying. To her great surprise, Lisa said Tyler not only climbed onto his friend’s bike, but he started peddling as well.

There have been setbacks along the way. Last April, Lisa took Tyler to the doctor because his blood pressure was very high. The doctor noticed that Tyler had no pulse in his legs and had an MRI performed.

The MRI showed that Tyler had a rare birth defect. He only had two heart valves and his aorta was pinched. The MRI also showed that Tyler’s veins and arteries had formed a web around his heart and major organs to supply them with blood. Lisa credits the stem cells for protecting Tyler’s organs.

Tyler had surgery to repair his aorta and has recovered well.

“He improves every single day,” Lisa said.

Lisa hopes to take Tyler for another stem cell treatment this summer. She wants everyone to know that there is hope and shares her experiences and links to others’ stories on her website, www.stemcellhelps.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

“Housekeeping” Mechanism for Brain Stem Cells Discovered

Published: April 22, 2012
Findings offer new insights into neurologic development and regenerative therapies for neurologic disease
(New York, NY, April 22, 2012) — Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a molecular pathway that controls the retention and release of the brain’s stem cells. The discovery offers new insights into normal and abnormal neurologic development and could eventually lead to regenerative therapies for neurologic disease and injury. The findings, from a collaborative effort of the laboratories of Drs. Anna Lasorella and Antonio Iavarone, were published today in the online edition of Nature Cell Biology.
The research builds on recent studies, which showed that stem cells reside in specialized niches, or microenvironments, that support and maintain them.
“From this research, we knew that when stem cells detach from their niche, they lose their identity as stem cells and begin to differentiate into specific cell types,” said co-senior author Antonio Iavarone, MD, professor of Pathology and Neurology at CUMC.
“However, the pathways that regulate the interaction of stem cells with their niche were obscure,” said co-senior author Anna Lasorella, MD, associate professor of Pathology and Pediatrics at CUMC and a member of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative.
In the brain, the stem cell niche is located in an area adjacent to the ventricles, the fluid-filled spaces within the brain. Neural stem cells (NSCs) within the niche are carefully regulated, so that enough cells are released to populate specific brain areas, while a sufficient supply is kept in reserve.

Neural stem cells detaching from the vascular niche Image credit: Anna Lasorella, CUMC /Nature Cell Biology
In previous studies, Drs. Iavarone and Lasorella focused on molecules called Id (inhibitor of differentiation) proteins, which regulate various stem cell properties. They undertook the present study to determine how Id proteins maintain stem cell identity.
The team developed a genetically altered strain of mice in which Id proteins were silenced, or knocked down, in NSCs. In the absence of Id proteins, mice died within 24 hours of birth. Their brains showed markedly lowered NSC proliferative capacity, and their stem cell populations were reduced.
Studies of NSCs from this strain of mice revealed that Id proteins directly regulate the production of a protein called Rap1GAP, which in turn controls Rap1, one of the master regulators of cell adhesion. The researchers found that the Id-Rap1GAP-Rap1 pathway is critical for the adhesion of NSCs to their niche and for NSC maintenance. “There may be other pathways involved, but we believe this is the key pathway,” said Dr. Iavarone. “There is good reason to believe that it operates in other kinds of stem cells, and our labs are investigating this question now.”
“This is a new idea,” added Dr. Lasorella. “Before this study, the prevailing wisdom was that NSCs are regulated by the niche components, conceivably through the release of chemical attractants such as cytokines. However, our findings suggest that stem cell identity relies on this mechanism.”
More research needs to be done before the findings can be applied therapeutically, Dr. Iavarone said. “Multiple studies show that NSCs respond to insults such as ischemic stroke or neurodegenerative diseases. If we can understand how to manipulate the pathways that determine stem cell fate, in the future we may be able to control NSC properties for therapeutic purposes.”
“Another aspect,” added Dr. Lasorella, “is to determine whether Id proteins also maintain stem cell properties in cancer stem cells in the brain. In fact, normal stem cells and cancer stem cells share properties and functions. Since cancer stem cells are difficult to treat, identifying these pathways may lead to more effective therapies for malignant brain tumors.”
Stephen G. Emerson, MD, PhD, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, added that, “Understanding the pathway that allows stem cells to develop into mature cells could eventually lead to more effective, less toxic cancer treatments. This beautiful study opens up a wholly unanticipated way to think about treating brain tumors.”
The paper is titled “Id proteins synchronize stemness and anchorage to the niche of neural stem cells.” Other contributors are Francesco Niola (CUMC), Xudong Zhao (CUMC), Devendra Singh (CUMC), Angelica Castano (CUMC), Ryan Sullivan (CUMC), Mario Lauria (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy), Hyung-song Nam (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York),, Yuan Zhuang (Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina), Robert Benezra (Memorial Sloan-Kettering), and Diego Di Bernardo (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine).
This research was supported by National Cancer Institute grants R01CA101644, R01CA131126, R01CA085628, and R01CA127643, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant R01NS061776.
The authors declare no financial or other conflicts of interest.
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest in the United States.
Media Contact: 
Karin Eskenazi

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Former Alabama football players get stem cell injections from Gulf Shores doctor

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012, 7:07 AM
Marquis running.JPGAlabama's Marquis Maze returns a punt past LSU defenders in the first quarter of the BCS Championship game on Jan. 9, 2012, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Press-Register/Bill Starling)
MOBILE, Alabama -- At the end of this past season with the Oakland Raiders, an aching Rolando McClaingave an assignment to his agent: Find out more about stem cell therapies for injuries, like other athletes are trying.
“I’ve been having two seasons of nagging pain in my knee,” the former University of Alabama standout said.
Not long afterward, McClain was on his way to Gulf Shores.
There, radiologist Jason R. Williams performed liposuction on McClain and then injected stem cells from the linebacker’s own fat cells into his knee and into the area of a high ankle sprain.
“It feels a lot better,” McClain said in an interview last week, adding that he’s working out four days a week with the Raiders, running, lifting weights, doing squats and even sprinting “with hardly any pain at all.”
About three months ago, Williams, 38, began the new procedure in which he injects patients -- two of them being McClain and former University of Alabama receiver Marquis Maze -- with their own stem cells in an effort to repair damaged joints and muscles.
“This is going to be the future of medicine,” said Williams, who owns Precision StemCell, which includes a diagnostic and interventional radiology practice in Gulf Shores.
Stem cells, sometimes called the body’s master cells, are precursor cells that develop into blood, bones and organs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates their use.
Their promise in medicine, according to many scientists and doctors, is that the cells have the potential to help and regenerate other cells.
While Williams’ treatments are considered investigational, he said, they meet FDA guidelines since the stem cells are collected from a patient’s fat tissue and administered back to that patient during the same procedure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stem Cell-AIDS Study Shows Genetically Engineered Cells Can Kill HIV In Mice

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 04/16/2012 12:50 pm Updated: 04/16/2012 1:11 pm
Stem Cells Aids
Can stem cells cure AIDS? Not yet. But a provocative new study shows that human stem cells can be genetically engineered to attack living cells infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"We believe that this study lays the groundwork for the potential use of this type of an approach in combating HIV infection in infected individuals, in hopes of eradicating the virus from the body," study author Dr. Scott G. Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a written statement released by the university.
For the "proof-of-principle" study, Dr. Kitchen's team implanted genetically engineered human blood stem cells into "humanized" mice, rodents in which HIV infection and the resulting disease resemble what happens in HIV-infected humans.
When the researchers checked the mice's blood, plasma, and organs weeks later, they found an increase in levels of so-called CD4 "helper" T cells--infection-fighting cells that become depleted as a result of HIV infection. At the same time, levels of HIV fell.
The finding, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, comes more than a year after The Huffington Post reported that an HIV-positive man known as the "Berlin patient" was apparently cured of his infection by a stem cell transplant.
Just how significant is the new finding?
In an email to The Huffington Post, renowned AIDS researcher Dr. Nathaniel R. Landau, professor of microbiology at New York University Langone Medical Center, called it "a remarkable demonstration of the power we are developing to alter how our bodies work. That is, that you can in the laboratory do something that will educate the cells of the immune system to recognize a specific pathogen."
Many obstacles must be overcome before the research might lead to a real-world cure for AIDS, Dr. Landau said, adding that "This is not something that will be ready for patients this year or next (maybe 4-5 years?)."
For now, the UCLA researchers plan to begin making genetically engineered T cells that target different parts of HIV, according to the statement.
As of 2010, World Health Organization statistics show that 34 million people around the world were living with HIV infection. AIDS claimed 1.8 million lives in 2010.