Navigation Links
Rice and UT-Houston join DOD push for regenerative medicine
Date:4/17/2008

The Department of Defense (DOD) today announced that Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston will spearhead the search for innovative ways to quickly grow large volumes of bone tissue for craniofacial reconstruction for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The program is part of a broad, $250 million national effort to rapidly apply the latest techniques in regenerative medicine to the treatment of wounded soldiers. DOD officials today unveiled the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM). AFIRM is made up of two civilian research consortiums working with the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

"This is by far the largest federal investment ever made in regenerative medicine, and it's no coincidence that the Texas Medical Center is playing an important role," said Rice University President David Leebron. "Rice and UT-Houston's collaborative research in this area is at the forefront of this rapidly growing field."

One of AFIRM's civilian consortiums is led by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. The other is led by Rutgers University and the Cleveland Clinic.

Rice bioengineer Antonios Mikos and UT-Houston surgeon Mark Wong are overseeing the Wake Forest consortium's research on craniofacial reconstruction. Mikos is Rice's J.W. Cox Professor in Bioengineering, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and the director of Rice's Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering. Wong is associate professor and chairman of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Rice and UT-Houston will receive $2 million over the next five years to spearhead the development of new tissue engineering technologies, novel reconstructive surgical techniques and innovative drug therapies that can help wounded soldiers.

"Dr. Mikos and Dr. Wong have been pioneers in the development of new tissue-engineering technologies that can be used for facial reconstruction for victims of catastrophic injury," said Dr. Peter Davies, executive vice president for research at UTHouston.

Tissue engineering is a fast-growing biomedical discipline that aims to quickly grow human tissues like bone, cartilage and skin that can be surgically transplanted without risk of rejection. Tissue engineers often use a patient's own cells as the basis for new tissue, placing them on biodegradable templates and stimulating them with chemical and physical cues.

"All of our efforts, both here in Houston and around the nation, are aimed at moving forward immediately to deliver therapies to the thousands of soldiers who have been wounded in this time of war," Mikos said.

Mikos, a founding editor of the journal Tissue Engineering and president-elect of the North American Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society, is one of the world's foremost experts on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Technology investigated by the consortium partners in craniofacial reconstruction will include the use of biopolymers as matrices for tissue regeneration and the delivery of different drugs to prevent infection and promote wound healing. Additional tissue-engineering projects that employ adult stem cells to reconstruct lost appendages such as ears and noses will also be investigated.

"We are honored to be part of this consortium, which will allow us to bring to fruition many years of collaborative research with Rice University and apply novel techniques to aid the reconstruction of devastating facial defects sustained by our military personnel," Wong said.

Traditionally, it can take years for laboratory breakthroughs to be translated into clinical practice. Mikos said it is vital for engineers and doctors to work together closely -- at every stage of research -- if cutting-edge technology is to be quickly transitioned to patients.

Wong, the director of the UT Dental Branch at Houston's Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency training program, holds surgical appointments at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, Ben Taub General Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. He said AFIRM's bench-to-bedside research efforts in Houston will help ensure that the technology developed for the military will also benefit civilian victims of trauma.

Davies said, "This is the sort of groundbreaking translational research that is being conducted in UT-Houstons new research facility, the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, a state-of-the-art clinical research facility funded by one of the first (Clinical and Translational Science Awards) made by the National Institutes of Health."

The long-standing partnership between Mikos and Wong is the foundation for the research. This partnership has been rewarded with several grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation and industry. It has also provided the basis for a joint educational program combining oral and maxillofacial surgery residency training at UT-Houston with a doctorate in bioengineering at Rice.

Thanks to an existing relationship between the military and the UT Dental Branch's oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program, the military's own trauma surgeons will get firsthand experience with all the new facial reconstruction techniques developed and tested by AFIRM. Under the residency program, surgeons from both the Army and Air Force spend time in Houston gaining experience in trauma management.

"We are fortunate to have a close relationship with UT-Houston where we can get experience with wider variety real-world trauma situations, similar to those we would see in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Capt. Curt Hayes, chief resident of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Lackland Air Force Base's Willford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. "This new grant presents the opportunity for improving battlefield management and outcome for hard-tissue injuries that are sustained by our military members."

Each of AFIRM's civilian consortiums was awarded $42.5 million over a period of five years. In addition, the two consortia are bringing local public and private matching funds amounting to more than $180 million that will be added to their research budgets -- for a total of more than $250 million available for research.

Rice and UTHouston are two of the 46 member institutions in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), one of the world's largest medical complexes. TMC institutions conduct more than $1 billion worth of research and see more than 5 million patients each year.

"Rice and UT-Houston's AFIRM research program calls for doctors and bioengineers to work side-by-side to rapidly translate new discoveries from the laboratory to the operating room," said Rice Provost Eugene Levy. "This is an outstanding example of the kind of joint, tightly interwoven research that will be greatly facilitated and that Rice plans to conduct with UT-Houston and its other TMC partners in the new Collaborative Research Center slated to open in mid-2009."

UTHouston President Dr. James Willerson said, "This is a most significant endeavor and is a tribute to the strength we can achieve through collaboration in the Texas Medical Center."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UT-Houstons Northrup and colleagues uncover genetic link to spina bifida
2. Life-threatening gene defect located by UT-Houston researchers
3. Study finds health professionals, public unprepared for genomic medicine
4. Nanomedicine research for prostate cancer supported by $5 million gift
5. SAGEs American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine looks at the health benefit of oats
6. Experimental Biology and Medicine announces expansion into Asia, opens new office
7. New clinical trial results show how personalized medicine will alter treatment of genetic disorders
8. CWRU School of Medicine has evidence vaccine against malaria will reduce disease
9. Study of African traditional medicine will begin world-first clinical trial
10. Telemedicine: Health alert via satellite
11. In the laboratory, green tea proves a powerful medicine against severe sepsis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... BOCA RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... presentation for potential users of its soon to be ... The video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also ... by the use of DNA technology to an industry ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer ... to pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of ... 77 institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   ... it has secured $1 million in debt financing from ... to ramp up automation and to advance its drug ... for its new facility. "SVB has been ... goes beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our ...
Breaking Biology Technology: