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The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Merging Science with Technology to Treat Disease

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.

Regenerative Medicine Podcasts

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.

Listen to the most recent podcasts.

News and Events

Study Reveals Roadmap of Muscle Decline with Age

Scientists have produced a comprehensive roadmap of muscle aging in mice that could be used to find treatments that prevent decline in muscle mobility and function, according to a report published in eLife.  McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT, Director of Rehabilitation for UPMC International and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh with secondary appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Physical Therapy, Orthopaedic Surgery, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Environmental & Occupational Health, is the senior author on the work.

Pitt Skin Patch Vaccine Partners with Cambridge COVID-19 Biotech Startup

The ultimate mission at Helix Nanotechnologies, Inc. (HelixNano) is to build technologies that unlock a future where freedom from cancer is a fundamental human right. But right now, the fight against a global pandemic needs all scientific hands on-deck. In response to this existential challenge, the HelixNano team is applying its expertise to deploy a novel vaccination approach against COVID-19.  McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Louis Falo, Jr., MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with faculty appointments in the Department of Bioengineering of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, the University of Pittsburgh UPMC Hillman Cancer Institute, and the Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and his team are partnered with HelixNano to help deliver its vaccine to patients.

COVID-19 Treatment Reduces Risk of Hospitalization, Death

Monoclonal antibodies, a COVID-19 treatment given early after coronavirus infection, cut the risk of hospitalization and death by nearly 70% in those most likely to suffer complications of the disease, according to a preliminary analysis of UPMC patients who received the medication compared to similar patients who did not. In an effort to share crucial information and save lives, UPMC and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine physician-scientists published the findings in medRxiv, a preprint journal, and announced the results ahead of peer-reviewed publication.  McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Derek Angus, MD, MPH.

Stem Cells Derived from Fat Show Promise as a Treatment for Mass Radiation Exposure

Nuclear power offers an efficient, reliable way to provide energy to large populations – as long as all goes well. Accidents involving nuclear reactors such as those that took place in 1986 at Chernobyl and at Fukushima Daiichi after the March 2011 tsunami raise major concerns about what happens if the worst occurs and large numbers of people are simultaneously exposed to high levels of radiation. Currently, there are no effective, safe therapies for total body irradiation (TBI) – a condition known as acute radiation syndrome (ARS). That could change, in the future based on new research published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

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