Our Mission Statement
The OHSU Center for Regenerative Medicine is dedicated to helping patients regenerate tissue lost to disease, trauma, and aging by developing therapies utilizing the body's stem cells, progenitor cells and proteins.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Patients confronted with injury or illnesses all have the same wish: to get better.
Whether they face the common cold, a cut, or cancer, a patient's hope is that someday they can simply return to normal. The human body has amazing regenerative capacity; wounds heal, broken bones weave together, and the immune system battles and eliminates infections. Ideal medical treatments would not require a lifetime of medication to mask or minimize symptoms; instead, they would address the problem at the source, fixing what can be repaired to help pave the way for the patient's own body to regenerate itself.
Unfortunately, the body's natural regenerative capacity is not enough when up against one of a myriad of serious ailments. Many conditions persist today that continue to cause death and disability despite decades of research using traditional pharmacologic therapies. Stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury result in permanent neurologic disability in over one million patients per year. Over six million Americans have congestive heart failure caused by damage to myocardial cells, for which only palliative therapies are currently available. Approximately 40,000 Americans a year are hospitalized for burn injuries, which can cause permanent deformation and scarring. Acute lung injury and respiratory distress syndrome are fatal in over 100,000 Americans each year, with minimal change in the 50% mortality rate and no new effective therapy in the last 50 years. These are but a few examples of diseases and injuries for which conventional therapies have no cure.
However, the young field of Regenerative Medicine seeks to utilize a new approach and novel technology to offer the hope of a cure for many conditions that have previously been regarded as permanent. Recent basic and pre-clinical research at this and other institutions has demonstrated the potential of safely using cells to regenerate damaged tissues, improve healing, and combat adverse inflammatory systemic diseases. Developments in biomaterials promise to open new pathways in tissue regeneration, helping the body jumpstart its recovery. The powerful combination of these new technologies could revolutionize medicine, providing permanent treatments that don't simply mask symptoms, but truly allow to body to heal itself.
The Center for Regenerative Medicine at OHSU was created on January 1st, 2012 and is directed by Dr. Kenton Gregory. We are dedicated to the translation of regenerative therapies from the bench to the clinic and battlefield. Our research is focused on developing novel biomaterials for the replacement of damaged tissues, perfecting cell-based therapies to regenerate a variety of damaged organs, and engineering enhancements to medical devices such as vascular stents.
Regenerative medicine encompasses many fields of surgery and medicine, and in many instances requires substantial multi-disciplinary faculty and facility resources to deploy its unique therapeutic approach. OHSU is the only institution in Oregon with the capacity to develop such a comprehensive resource and bring regenerative cell therapies to patients in Oregon. The OHSU Center for Regenerative Medicine is the first center for regenerative medicine in the State of Oregon. This Center has developed (or can utilize) core resources required for the development of cell therapies (e.g., microscopy, flow cytometry, a clean room, novel stem cell functionality assays, and imaging centers), and it has researchers actively developing cell therapies, taking them from basic cell biology through translational pre-clinical cell and technology research and development, and finally to clinical trials.
Our research team is integrated into the research mission of OHSU, not only performing our own basic research and preclinical studies, but providing assistance and expertise to other researchers and departments at OHSU to further OHSU's research goals. In addition, the Center for Regenerative Medicine collaborates with outside companies and investigators, working to bring novel therapeutics and devices to market.