Mayo Clinic announced last fall that it received a $10 million grant from The Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Fund at Vanguard Charitable on the recommendation of Louis V. and Robin L. Gerstner.
The grant supports five initiatives across Mayo Clinic’s Arizona, Florida and Minnesota sites. Two of the five initiatives funded through the grant are designated to advance patient care through enterprise-wide regenerative medicine research and clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.
The Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative will support research and clinical trials for the most common cause of lower back pain, arthritis of the lumbar facet joints. The initiative includes the development of a spine pain registry for data collection and analysis of established pain interventions in comparison with regenerative cellular therapy. This effort is led by Wenchun Qu, M.D., M.S., Ph.D., a physiatrist and pain specialist and William Mauck, M.D., chair of the Division of Pain Medicine.
Shane Shapiro, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and medical director of the Regenerative Medicine Therapeutic Suites in Florida will head the Gerstner Regenerative Medicine Initiative, supporting ongoing osteoarthritis research and clinical trials at Mayo Clinic. The Regenerative Medicine Therapeutics Suites will lead the study to develop evidence-based best practices for dosing and frequency of regenerative therapies for knee osteoarthritis. The initiative will also support the development of an outcomes registry.
The other three initiatives support specialized education opportunities for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, career development awards in the Center for Individualized Medicine, and research in the use of augmented human intelligence in cardiovascular care.
The needs of patients drive research at Mayo Clinic. As doctors treat patients and see opportunities for advancing patient care, they work together with Mayo scientists and research teams to develop new and improved diagnostic tools, medications, devices, treatment protocols and more.
With fewer traditional funding sources available for medical research, philanthropy has become a critical link that makes it possible for research programs to move beyond initiation.
This grant not only makes research and new education opportunities for the five initiatives above possible, it expedites the discovery, development and delivery of treatments and technologies that ultimately benefit patients.