Executive Team

Photo: Dr. Dori Borjesson: Director

Dr. Dori Borjesson: Director

Dr. Borjesson is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist who has worked in the field of inflammation, cell-pathogen interactions and hematopoietic progenitor cells since 2000. Since 2007, she has been actively engaged in research on veterinary mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Her lab has developed methods to collect, isolate, expand, freeze, thaw and administer equine (bone marrow, fat, umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue derived), canine (fat and bone marrow derived), ovine, porcine and feline fat-derived MSCs. She co-directs the clinical Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Directs the Veterinary Institute of Regenerative Cures. Members of her team have developed canine, feline and equine models to assess MSC safety and efficacy. We have also helped faculty in the School of Medicine work with induced large animal models of disease (sheep and pigs). The lab’s current research expertise is in MSC biology and immunomodulation. They focus on naturally occurring models of disease including canine and feline inflammatory diseases and canine spinal cord injury as models for human inflammatory and traumatic diseases. They have begun to define the mechanisms by which MSC alter the immune response and interact with cells of the immune system and have initiated research into how MSCs interact with microbes important to GI health.

Photo: Dr. David Simpson: Assistant Director

Dr. David Simpson: Associate Director

Dr. Simpson is the current Associate Director of the VIRC and is responsible for overall program management. Prior to joining UC Davis he was a Senior Scientist with Capricor Therapeutics and assisted in leading research and development strategies for the company’s therapeutic pipeline. As a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Maryland-Baltimore he led investigations in the use of pediatric-derived cardiac progenitor cells for cardiac repair, epigenetic characterization of cardiac progenitor cells and the tissue engineering of cardiac structures using autologous cell sources. He earned his PhD from the joint Biomedical Engineering program at Georgia Tech and Emory University. During this time Dr. Simpson successfully developed tissue engineering strategies to enhance stem cell delivery to cardiac tissue, determined the regenerative potential of MSCs derived from pluripotent sources and characterized the stress response of MSC in three dimensional culture. His research has been featured in top tier journals including Circulation, Stem Cells and Biotechnology and Bioengineering and he has presented on the national and international stage at conferences such as American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and the Tissue Enginereing and Regenerative Medicine International Society World Congress.