The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
held its second annual Open Session on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. The purpose of the event was to provide a forum where McGowan Institute affiliated faculty highlighted how regenerative medicine can save lives, contribute to economic vitality, and improve health around the globe. More than 350 attendees learned how regenerative medicine is helping military and civilian patients, the latest advances in wound healing, and the promising work with stem cells and muscle regeneration.
As part of the program, the University of Pittsburgh announced a 2-year, $12 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Technology Transition (OTT) that is designed to jumpstart human trials of three innovative research programs that aim to replace scars and defects with healthy, functional tissues.
In particular, the OTT Initiative will focus on efforts to:
• Replace muscle tissue through extracellular matrix, a protein- and growth factor-rich biological scaffold that appears to recruit stem cells and other precursors to injury sites. The primary investigators are Stephen Badylak, DVM., MD, PhD
, deputy director, McGowan Institute, and J. Peter Rubin, MD
, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
• Bring to clinical evaluation an injectable, porous bone cement for the repair of craniofacial bone defects and restoration of normal bone growth and remodeling. The primary investigators are Bernard J. Costello, DMD, MD
, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Prashant N. Kumta, PhD
, Edward R. Weidlein Chair, Pitt Swanson School of Engineering, and Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD
, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Pictured is Dr. Costello demonstrating how the bone cement could be used for a craniofacial reconstruction.
• Evaluate the injection of human fibroblasts, a type of connective tissue cell, into contracted burn scars to soften the skin and allow greater freedom of movement. The primary investigators are J. Peter Rubin, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Paul Kemp, PhD, founder, chief scientific officer, and executive director, Intercytex.
Battlefield mortality has decreased from 30 percent in World War II to less than 10 percent in the conflicts of the present day, partly due to advances in medicine, surgery, and trauma care. Still, injured soldiers are returning home with life-changing wounds, including finger and limb amputations that have doubled in rate since WWII.
The OTT Initiative is funded by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). The projects, if successful, could ultimately lead to interventions that also benefit civilians, noted Arthur S. Levine, MD, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh.
Contributors to the Open Session included:
• Dawne S. Hickton, Vice Chair, President and CEO, RTI International Metals, Inc.
• Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
• Arthur Levine, MD, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, and Dean, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
• Alan Russell, PhD
, Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
• General James F. Amos, U.S. Marine Corps, Assistant Commandant
• Brigidar General James Lukeman, Military Assistant to the Assistant Commandant, United States Marine Corps
• Douglas S. Kondziolka, MD, MS, FRCS (C)
, Peter J. Jannetta Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiation Oncology, Director, Center for Brain Function & Behavior
• Johnny Huard, PhD
, Professor and Vice Chair for Musculoskeletal Cellular Therapeutics, Director, Stem Cell Research Center
• Varun Fiswanathan, Stem Cell Research Center
• Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT
, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Co-Director, Clinical Translation Lab-Stem Cell Research Center
• Blair A. Jobe, MD
, Associate Professor of Surgery, Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC
• Patient Michael Wright, Quality Control Inspector, Diamond Innovations
• Cynthia Gonsalves, Acting Director, Office of Technology Transition, U.S. Department of Defense
• Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Deputy Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
• Corporal Isaias Hernandez, United States Marine Corps
• Bernard J. Costello, MD, DMD, FACS, Associate Professor and Residency Program Director, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
UPMC Media Relations (05/20/10)
UPMC Media Relations (05/25/10)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (05/25/10)
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (05/25/10)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (05/25/10)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (05/26/10)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Video 1 (05/26/10)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Video 2 (05/26/10)