Regenerative medicine uses clinical procedures to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissues and organs, versus some traditional therapies that just treat symptoms.
To realize the vast potential of tissue engineering and other techniques aimed at repairing damaged or diseased tissues and organs, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC established the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The McGowan Institute serves as a single base of operations for the University’s leading scientists and clinical faculty working to develop tissue engineering, cellular therapies, and artificial and biohybrid organ devices.
The McGowan Institute is the most ambitious regenerative program in the nation, coupling biology, clinical science, and engineering. Success in our mission will impact patients’ lives, bring economic benefit, serve to train the next generation of researchers, and advance the expertise of our faculty in the basic sciences, engineering, and clinical sciences. Our efforts proudly build upon the pioneering achievements of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute.
While there are certain select therapies based on regenerative medicine principles now in clinical use, much work lies ahead to realize the potential of this growing field. Advances in the underlying science, engineering strategies to harness this science, and successful commercial activities are all required to bring new therapies to patients.
The McGowan Institute sponsors a podcast series on regenerative medicine. Listen to some of the world's leading regenerative medicine researchers and physicians talk about their work.
The McGowan Institute has formed an alliance with the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to develop and demonstrate how microgravity can improve regenerative medicine-based therapies. The ISS provides a unique platform to conduct studies in a microgravity environment. This alliance — a core element of the ISS National Laboratory Industrial Biomedicine Program — was unveiled at the 8th annual ISS Research and Development Conference held in Atlanta earlier this month. This new partnership will serve as a benchmark for how the ISS National Laboratory develops similar programs in the future involving research and development activities aboard the space station.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine—including McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine and faculty member of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center, and Ira Fox, MD, professor of surgery and pediatric transplantation at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh—are the first to grow genetically modified miniature human livers in the laboratory, to emulate human liver disease progression and test therapeutics.
The University of Pittsburgh received a $6 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to support the development of a cortical vision research program in the Pitt School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology. The program will aim to understand how the eye and the brain work together to help us see the world and use that knowledge to develop new ways to restore vision using various technologies such as brain computer interfaces and novel genetic technologies.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT, Director of Rehabilitation for UPMC International and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh with secondary appointments in the Departments of Physical Therapy, Bioengineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Philip LeDuc, PhD, William J. Brown Professor of Mechanical Engineering with appointments in Biological Sciences, Computational Biology, and Biomedical Engineering, the Founding Director of the Center for the Mechanics and Engineering of Cellular Systems, and a McGowan Institute affiliated faculty member, are the co-principal investigators on a recently awarded National Institutes of Health R01 grant entitled “Role of Extracellular Matrix in Age-Related Declines of Muscle Regeneration.”