Dr. Nolta is the Director of the Stem Cell Program at UC Davis School of Medicine, and directs the Institute for Regenerative Cures. The UC Davis Stem Cell Program has over 150 faculty members collaborating to work toward stem cell-related cures for a spectrum of diseases and injuries. The current research in Dr. Nolta’s laboratory focuses on “bench to the bedside” research, and she has been involved in numerous clinical trials of gene and cell therapy. Dr. Nolta has an FDA approved stem cell based Huntington disease treatment, 11 additional cell-based regenerative therapies in clinical trials, and another 18 cell-based clinical therapies in her pipeline.
In 1994, she developed her passion for cellular therapy by performing the first cord blood stem cell gene therapy trials for newborns with “bubble baby disease”, with her mentor Donald Kohn at the University of Southern California. Dr. Nolta has 25 years of experience with human stem cells, has published over 100 manuscripts in the stem cell field, and has authored 25 book chapters. She has served on over 200 review panels for the National Institutes of Health and other grant-funding agencies, is Editor of the journal “Stem Cells,” and was editor of the book "Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells".
In 2012, Dr. Nolta received a prestigious five-year Transformative Grant Award from the NIH office of the Director to study cell to cell communication. She is also funded as Co-Principal investigator on three major grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) that have the goal of developing and delivering novel Phase 1 clinical trials. In these teams she works with physicians and scientists who will deliver the therapies. In 2013, she was ranked as one of the “Global Top 50 Most Influential People in the Field of Stem Cells.” Dr. Nolta is a native Northern Californian and is extremely happy to be back in the area, since being recruited back to UC Davis from Washington University in 2007.