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Research
Advances in Stem Cell, Organ Printing, Tissue Engineering Changing Healthcare, Saving Lives
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Mar 12, 2014 - 10:59:58 AM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Imagine a world where malfunctioning organs are replaced by new ones made from your own tissues, where infected wounds are cured with a signal from your smartphone, where doctors find the perfect medicine for whatever ails you simply by studying your stem cells.

It's a world that's inching closer to reality because of the work of some of the nation's top scientists, many of whom will gather March 13-15 at The Ohio State University for the 7th Annual Translational to Clinical (T2C) Regenerative Medicine Conference to discuss their recent successes and challenges in coaxing the body to heal itself in extraordinary ways.

"Regenerative medicine will change the way you and I experience sickness, health and healthcare," said Chandan Sen, director of theCenter for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Based Therapies at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. "Because the field is so new, we as researchers are also changing the way we work to be synergistic - not competitive, so patients are able to access the benefits more quickly."

And the benefits are desperately needed, says keynote speaker Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

"From chronic diseases such as kidney failure that costs billions of dollars each year to the medical needs of our aging population and the significant injuries sustained by military troops in Afghanistan, developing new treatment paradigms is essential," said Atala, who was selected to lead the $75 million Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), a consortium of 30 academic and industry partners in applying regenerative medicine techniques to battlefield injuries.

"In theory, every tissue in the body has the ability to regenerate and heal itself. It's good to come to this meeting and exchange ideas that will enable us to harness that remarkable ability."

Other speakers include Elaine Fuchs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at Rockefeller University in New York, who has advanced multiple areas of stem cell research through her work in skin cells and genetics; and Dr. Michael Longaker, director of the Hagey Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University. Longaker is considered one of the nation's experts in using a combination of stem cell- and bioengineering-based technologies for craniofacial reconstruction.

Several Ohio State College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center clinician-scientists are also sharing research updates during pre-conference lectures and the meeting:

"The real advancements come when you can get a lab discovery to a patient in need, and then learn from that patient about how to make the advancement even better. That kind of ‘bench to bedside' cycle is only possible when scientists collaborate," Breuer said. "The regenerative medicine partnership between Ohio State and Nationwide Children's Hospital is extraordinary, and because of that, I think it will yield some pretty breathtaking innovations in the next decade."

Sen, who is the associate dean of translational and applied research at Ohio State's College of Medicine and director of innovation for Ohio State's Center for Clinical and Translational Science, agrees, noting that the state of Ohio is particularly well set up to become an epicenter of regenerative medicine knowledge and technology development.

"In this state alone, you have Case Western University, University of Cincinnati, Cleveland Clinic, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital all working to answer different regenerative medicine challenges, yet sharing information as we go. We're truly living - and delivering on - the promise of translational medicine," Sen said.

For the first time in the meeting's seven-year history, immediately following the final day of presentations, there will be a "Science and Industry" summit at which researchers and physicians can explore the latest industry innovations from the world's top developers of regenerative medicine and wound care technology.

Presentation highlights will be posted via Twitter throughout the three-day meeting, with the hasthtag #T2C2014. More information about the meeting, including registration details, can be found at http://regenerativemedicineconference.osu.edu/ .

The conference has been designated an educational activity for a maximum of 12.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits.  The meeting is sponsored by Healogics Inc. and the Wound Health Society.

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