NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NBS), an emerging leader in the fast growing cell therapy market, announced today that Dr. Aaron Havens of the University of Michigan has won the Milo Hellman Research Award from the American Association of Orthodontists ("AAO") for his research in collaboration with NeoStem. The research, published in Stem Cells and Development in an article titled "Human Very Small Embryonic-Like Cells Generate Skeletal Structures, In Vivo," demonstrated bone regeneration capabilities of human VSELs™ stem cells in a mouse model, further expanding the therapeutic potential of NeoStem's proprietary regenerative cell therapy product. Dr. Havens, a third-year resident of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's graduate orthodontics program, will receive the award during the AAO's annual session in May in Philadelphia. Dr. Havens works under the mentorship of Dr. Russell Taichman, Major Ash Collegiate Professor and Co-Director of the Scholars Program in Dental Leadership Department of Periodontics & Oral Medicine, University of Michigan. This published controlled study, funded by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases under SBIR grant number RAR056893Z, "Repair of boney defects by human stem cells," and led by Drs. Taichman and Havens, involved isolating G-CSF mobilized VSEL™ stem cells from the blood of healthy donors and transplanting them into burr holes made in the cranial bones of SCID mice. After three months, it was observed that the implanted VSEL™ stem cells had differentiated into human bone tissue in the crania of the mice. Dr. Robin Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem, said, "We congratulate Dr. Havens for receiving this honor which we believe further underlines the significance of this work on VSEL™ Technology by our collaborators at the University of Michigan. We believe this exciting data will be the foundation for future VSEL™ stem cell studies of bone regeneration in humans. We look forward to moving the development work from the laboratory into the clinic through the first approved NIH clinical study of VSEL™ stem cells in humans, expected to begin enrolment in 2013, to develop a therapeutic stem cell product to enhance bone formation in humans." The Milo Hellman Research Award is presented annually by the AAO to "the most outstanding and meritorious research paper of unusual merit, related to orthodontics, according to the AAO. This is the third consecutive year that a resident of the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry's graduate orthodontics program has won this award.