Federal funds given for regenerative medicine center

November 23, 2004

Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) and University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) have been awarded $4.5 million in seed funding to establish the National Center for Regenerative Medicine as part of the omnibus appropriation bill approved by Congress this week. Additional funding for the center is expected over the next five years.

The center's research facilities, housed at Case, UH and CCF, will enable new non-embryonic stem cell research discoveries by faculty to be translated into therapies that can be used to treat thousands of patients each year.

In addition, the center's education programs will train personnel to perform groundbreaking research and deliver the world's foremost patient care.

"The importance of this new center's work will be incalculable," said Edward M. Hundert, M.D., president of Case, "not only in terms of lives potentially saved but in the hope it will offer. This is another example of the impact that Case, The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland can have when we continue to align our resources, talent and initiative."

The National Center for Regenerative Medicine builds on existing research at the three institutions that is supported by the National Institutes of Health and by the Ohio Wright Center of Innovation for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine involving Case, CCF and UHC. The Wright Center was established in 2003 through an investment by the State of Ohio as part of Gov. Bob Taft's Third Frontier Project. The Center institutions are nationally recognized in cell therapy for cancer and are rapidly translating new laboratory research into new therapies for heart disease, bone and joint disease and vascular disorders.

Congressman Ralph Regula (R-Ohio, 16th District), dean of the Ohio Congressional delegation and second highest-ranking Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, played a pivotal role in securing this funding. Regula provided leadership within Congress and galvanized members of the Ohio delegation in support of the project.

"This funding will help us build on the solid foundation that we have developed for non-embryonic stem cell research in Cleveland," said Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and director of the Case Research Institute. "It is a ringing endorsement of the research talent that is found at Case, The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland."

Stanton Gerson, M.D., professor of medicine at Case, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center and director of the Ohio Wright Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, will direct the new national center. Regenerative medicine is a new approach to medical therapy that uses non-embryonic stem cells to regenerate new tissue in diseased organs in place of using drugs or devices to improve function.

"Our goal is to move from using drugs to treat disease to using non-embryonic stem cells as effective treatments," he said. "We owe a great deal of gratitude to our patients who provided graphic advocacy for the creation of this center to the Ohio Congressional delegation because of the benefits they have derived from treatment with stem cells."

In addition to Drs. Hundert, Horwitz and Gerson, others instrumental in helping to secure the award were Thomas F. Zenty III, president and CEO of University Hospitals Health System; Fred C. Rothstein, M.D., president and chief executive officer of University Hospitals of Cleveland; and Floyd D. Loop, M.D., former CEO, and Toby Cosgrove, M.D., president and CEO, both of The Cleveland Clinic. Senators Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and U.S. Representatives Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio, 11th District), Dave Hobson (R-Ohio, 7th District), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio, 10th District) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio, 13th District) also contributed to the efforts to obtain funding.

"There is clearly a synergy among Cleveland stem cell researchers that is being recognized at state and federal levels," Rothstein said. "Over the last 30 years, the collaboration between UHC and Case has resulted in much deeper understanding of the potential for non-embryonic stem cells."

"In addition to the state-of-the-art research that will impact the lives of countless people, this center fosters growing collaborations which will significantly contribute to Northeast Ohio's continued emergence as a leading biomedical center," said Paul DiCorleto, Ph.D., chairman of The Lerner Research Institute at the Clinic. The Institute's new Genetics and Stem Cell Research Building, home to both the new Center for Molecular Genetics and the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, is scheduled to open in January.

Case Western Reserve University

Related Stem Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

SUTD researchers create heart cells from stem cells using 3D printing
SUTD researchers 3D printed a micro-scaled physical device to demonstrate a new level of control in the directed differentiation of stem cells, enhancing the production of cardiomyocytes.

More selective elimination of leukemia stem cells and blood stem cells
Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia.

Computer simulations visualize how DNA is recognized to convert cells into stem cells
Researchers of the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW - The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells.

First events in stem cells becoming specialized cells needed for organ development
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto shed light on the very first step stem cells go through to turn into the specialized cells that make up organs.

Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.

Healthy blood stem cells have as many DNA mutations as leukemic cells
Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ.

New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.

NUS researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells
Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification -- by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.

Researchers develop a new method for turning skin cells into pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have for the first time succeeded in converting human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells by activating the cell's own genes.

Read More: Stem Cells News and Stem Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.