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

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