The World Stem Cell Summit, December 10-12 in Atlanta, unites and educates the global stem cell community. With more than 1,200 attendees from more than 40 countries, the annual World Stem Cell Summitâ€™s interdisciplinary agenda explores disease updates, research directions, cell standardization, regulatory pathways, reimbursements, financing, venture capital and economic development.
Throughout the week, the Mayo ClinicÂ Center for Regenerative MedicineÂ will use social media to connect using the hashtag #WSCS15. At the end of the week, we'll let the tweets, Google+ posts, Flickr photos, Facebook posts and YouTube videos tell the story.
The World Stem Cell Summit includes in-depth programming and more than 200 international speakers, including leaders from theÂ Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine:
Clifford Folmes, Ph.D. , is a Scholar of the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. His research focuses on how changes in energy metabolism direct cell fate and stem cell differentiation. Dr. Folmes has consulted for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space regarding the implementation of stem cell research on the International Space Station.
Thomas Gonwa, M.D. is deputy director, Translation, in the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. He oversees translational regenerative medicine infrastructure across all Mayo Clinic campuses, ensuring technological and translational readiness necessary to sustain scientific excellence, practice advancement and fulfillment of institutional and site-specific goals.
David Lott, M.D., is director of the Head and Neck Transplantation and Regeneration Program at Mayo Clinic. His practice includes voice and swallowing restoration, laryngeal cancer, and laryngotracheal reconstruction. His research lab is dedicated to investigating regenerative techniques for reconstruction of head and neck defects and safely translating this technology to clinical practice.
Alan Marmorstein, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, and his colleagues are studying how to regenerate eye tissue, or even whole eyes, using stem cells. This option would make it possible to restore vision in people who have lost it and prevent loss of vision in those at risk.
Zachary Resch, Ph.D., is assistant professor of medicine and program manager for theÂ Center for Regenerative Medicine BiotrustÂ at Mayo Clinic. The Biotrust specializes in the collection, processing, and storage of patient-specific induced pluripotent and mesenchymal stem cell lines for use in regenerative medicine-related activities including diagnostics, therapeutics and modeling.
Shane Shapiro, M.D., is a consultant in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic and is Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. A primary focus of his research has been the study of novel regenerative techniques for chronic non-healing bone, joint, muscle, tendon, ligament and skin maladies that are not candidates for conventional surgical management. Dr. Shapiro has research protocols involving adipose derived stem cells to treat arthritis, and recently, completed an FDA IND clinical trial using mesenchymal stem cells to treat osteoarthritic knees.
Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., is the Michael S. and Mary Sue Shannon Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine and Marriott Family Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases Research. Dr. Terzic has pioneered regenerative medicine at Mayo Clinic, and his program capitalizes on emerging technologies to transform therapeutic modalities from palliative measures to cures.
Anthony Windebank, M.D., a neurologist and cell biologist, is deputy director for discovery in the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. He is director of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, which focuses on neuroprotection, repair and regeneration after spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury and stem cell applications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease.
Henry Walker is program manager for the Mayo Clinic Advanced Product Incubator (API), a state of the art manufacturing facility that supports human phase I/II trials for the Center for Regenerative Medicine. The API is designed to accelerate the discovery, translation and application of novel regenerative products with the focus on developing cell-free biologics-based platforms.
Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and medical director, Transfusion Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Dr. Zubairâ€™s research focuses on the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. He recently received an award from NASA (CASIS) that will allow him to use the microgravity environment to grow stem cells that are of sufficient quality and quantity to use in the treatment of patients with stroke.
Michael Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D., physician, orthopedic surgeon and engineer, wants to make it clear that the advances in orthopedic regenerative medicine are the product of teamwork. During his recent talk entitled "Mayoâ€™s History of Military Research and Musculoskeletal Regenerative Medicine of Today," Dr. Yaszemski discussed the recent developments in regenerative orthopedic surgery and took the time to fully credit his team members for the hard work they've done.
Since the advent of modern medicine there have been four eras of orthopedic surgery: resection, fusion, replacement and, now, regeneration. Resection was the process used in the very early days of surgery in which damaged joints were removed completely. This alleviated any pain but left patients unstable and unable to move freely. Next came fusion in which an injured joint was removed and the two bones fused together. Fusion gave patients stability but at the cost of mobility. In the 1950s replacement became the primary method thanks to the work done at Mayo Clinic under the guidance of Mark B. Coventry, M.D. During this era an injured joint was replaced with a metal or synthetic joint, which largely restored a patient's mobility. The issue with replacement is that the artificial joints will ultimately deteriorate, requiring repeat surgeries.
Today, in the era of regeneration, doctors wish to give patients the ability to regrow their own musculoskeletal cells, restoring mobility and stability, all without the need for repeat operations. Dr. Yaszemski explained several of the structures involved.
Bone regeneration is the regrowth of the bones themselves. This is done by first creating scaffolding for the bone to use while it grows inside the body. Each scaffold can be made from a variety of substances ranging from silk and collagen to polyester and titanium. These scaffolds can be implanted either surgically as one large piece or via injection in which the scaffold is introduced as a liquid that then hardens into a solid shape. Once the scaffold is in place cells can then be introduced which will then grow the new bone.
Tendon injuries are commonly in the operating room and the current treatment method leaves something to be desired, relying largely on sewing the two pieces together and hoping that they heal. Challenges are present in the regrowth of tendons as they require an entirely different construction and must endure a dramatic amount of force but Dr. Yaszemski's lab has produced a scaffold in which collagen can grow in conjunction with bone.
The breakdown of cartilage causes several conditions including: cartilage degenerative joint disease, post-traumatic cartilage regeneration, and osteochondritis dissecans, all of which can be treated. However, while those treatments can be effective, they will not last. Much like receiving an artificial hip, a patient who has undergone cartilage surgery will ultimately need a repeat operation. Regenerative medicine offers a new option for the treatment of cartilage repair in which an injection of growth factors and cell scaffolding can regrow a patient's own cartilage, repairing it indefinitely.
Nerves are the final structure that Dr. Yaszemski covers in his talk. Currently, if patients suffer from nerve damage they have no option other than to live with limited or no sensation to a part of their body. However, his lab is working to create scaffolds that allow nerve regrowth. Such scaffolds, which look something like long winding tubes, have already been implemented in animal models and have shown nerve growth spanning gaps in the animal's spine.
With these advancements the options for patients are expanding and there may soon be a day where orthopedic surgery can completely repair their injuries as if they had never happened.
The event, held Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is open to everyone. Come for the food, the fun, the opportunity to meet other HLHS families, and to learn how weâ€™re changing the future.
About the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.
Mayo Clinic, theÂ Georgia Center for Regenerative Engineering & Medicine (Georgia Tech, University of Georgia & Emory University), Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), BioBridge Global, New York Stem Cell Foundation and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have joinedÂ Genetics Policy Institute and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation to organize the summit.
Featuring over 225 speakers and 65 hours of programming, the summit forges collaborations to advance cell therapies, while creating a supportive environment of regulation, legislation, financing, reimbursement and patient advocacy.
Throughout the week, the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine will use social media to connect using the hashtag #WSCS15. At the end of the week, we'll let the tweets, Google+ posts, Flickr photos, Facebook posts, Instagram, and YouTube videos tell the story.
Abba C. Zubair, M.D., Ph.D., medical and scientific director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Florida has traveled far in his life, moving from Nigeria to America in pursuit of science. Dr. Zubair spoke recently at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, explaining his plan to send an experiment beyond all borders to the International Space Station, a strategy that may accelerate the growth of human tissues and organs which currently require a substantial amount of time to develop due to gravity.
The goal of Dr. Zubair's research â€” and regenerative medicine as a whole â€” is to boost the body's ability to heal itself. While many of us have the ability to recover from a cold or heal after an injury, the body has a limit to what it can do alone. For example, after a cut your skin heals within a few days. Other organs do not repair themselves as readily. But cells in the body once thought to be no longer able to divide (terminally differentiated) have been shown to be able to remodel and possess some ability to self-heal. Dr. Zubair and teams in the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine are studying how to enhance these self-healing processes.
Dr. Zubair explains that cells are like people and they behave differently depending on the environment. Since these cells are so temperamental and because of the amount of time it takes to differentiate the cells, it has become challenging for scientists to grow them effectively in the lab. This presents a real hurdle considering just how many stem cells are needed for an effective therapy â€”anywhere from 200 to 500 million.
Dr. Zubair believes that improving the environment in which stem cells are grown will allow their production to meet the required numbers for effective therapies. One consistent impediment to a cell's growth is gravity and allowing cells to grow in a lower gravitational environment, such as space, may stimulate cell growth. This is the focus of Dr. Zubair's experiment slated for February, 2016, which will launch stem cells into space to be grown on the International Space Station.
The study has endured several challenges, the first of which was the question of what will the cells feed on while in low gravity? Astronauts on the space station wonâ€™t be able to use the normal nutrient-rich liquid as it will simply float away. The answer came from a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and BioServe, a subsidiary of the University of Colorado-Boulder, which developed a new type of medium called a BioCell Cassette. Another challenge facing the study is the fickle nature of space travel, which has forced the launch of the stem cells to be delayed once already.
Dr. Zubair remains optimistic, having performed test flights using a specially designed rig called the RED-4U capsule, created by Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA). These flights and Dr. Zubair's work were featured on a recent article for space.com.
Dr. Zubair is hopeful. His laboratory has tested the hardware and everything is ready for flight. The long-term goal, he explains, if indeed the cells will benefit from the different environment, is the construction of bioreactors, which will operate in Earth's orbit, growing stem cells for ready use.