Arnold Caplan celebrates his 50th year at CWRU

On September 6, 2019 Arnold Caplan, Professor and Director of the Skeletal Research Center, known as the “father of MSCs”, celebrated the start of his 50th year here at Case Western Reserve University.  In honor of Arnold’s dedication to scientific research and to CWRU, a symposium and dinner was held with alumni, colleagues and longtime friends of Arnold and of the Skeletal Research Center. An amazing number of his former lab members attended this celebration, some from as far away as Japan, Poland, and Chile.  Each one with a story of their own to tell, remembering and reconnecting their interactions with Arnold and their stay at CWRU. Arnold made it clear in his lecture and remarks that it was not just a celebration of Arnold Caplan, but also a celebration of everyone who played a role in his successes and to the contributions to advance science, some of which provide medical treatments for a number of people.

In recognition of this momentous occasion, instead of gifts, donations were made on behalf of Arnold to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank “Backpack for Kids” program, which provides food for low-income children each weekend when they do not have access to the free and reduced-price school lunches normally available to them during the week. Each week, Food Bank volunteers pack six child-friendly meals per student into bags. The bags include various items such as milk, pasta, tuna, peanut butter, vegetables, cereal, fruit and snack items. The children take the food home over the weekend in an unmarked, nondescript backpack provided by the Food Bank. To date 716 weekend book bags were made through donations on Arnold’s behalf and donations continue to arrive.

Arnold received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and his PhD from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. He began his work at Case Western Reserve in 1969 as an Assistant Professor of Biology and was promoted to full Professor in 1981.  Over these past five decades, Arnold has established himself as an international leader in Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) biology and regenerative medicine research. His dedication to research, his gift for building bridges between the academic community and industry, and his enthusiasm and skill for providing exceptional mentorship and training to generations of students, including over 450 publications while here at CWRU, has been an impressive achievement. 


by Tammie Lee: