Campus News

Professor named one of nation’s emerging scholars

Franklin West

Franklin West, an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been named one of the nation’s top scholars under 40 by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

West, who is on the steering committee for the UGA Regenerative Bioscience Center, works closely with center director Steve Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. They recently discovered that pluripotent stem cells can be used in pigs without causing tumors.

His research is now focusing on how pig stem cells can develop into cells of the central nervous system to ultimately help patients who have suffered from stroke or traumatic brain injury.

To date, there is only one FDA approved treatment for stroke and none for traumatic brain injury. Using a pig stem cell therapy model, West and collaborator Dr. Simon Platt, a College of Veterinary Medicine neurosurgeon, are working to unlock the secrets of how stem cells can effectively and safely treat human patients.

“Frank is a rising star, and this award is well deserved,” Stice said. “At an early stage in his career, he has already demonstrated strengths in intellect, teaching, research and collegiality.”