Bringing regenerative medicine to more patients requires highly skilled medical providers. During a recent weeklong educational course, 42 medical and graduate students were immersed in regenerative medicine at Mayo Clinic. The Regenerative Medicine and Surgery Selective introduces students to regenerative medicine and surgery by engaging students in the fundamental principles and cutting-edge applications of regenerative medicine within clinical practice. This knowledge will enable them to advance the use of regenerative therapies in all areas of medical practice.
“The Regenerative Medicine and Surgery Selective gives us the opportunity to provide students with a hands-on experience of regenerative medicine at Mayo Clinic,” says Saranya Wyles, M.D., Ph.D., course director. “The students participate in interactive lectures, laboratory demonstrations, clinical highlights, and patient interactions during the course.”
Learners of all levels of expertise and education came to enhance their knowledge of regenerative medicine and to experience Mayo’s patient-centered, team-based approach that spans the spectrum of discovery science, translational research, and clinical application.
For Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine first-year medical student, Eric Grewal, who is studying immunology, experiencing the translation from research in the lab to the application of regenerative medicine in a clinical setting was the highpoint of the week.
“We’re just beginning to understand the capabilities of immunotherapy and how a patient’s own cells can be used to heal them,” says Grewal. “I hope to one day apply what I’ve learned during this course, and throughout my training, to develop the next generation of immunotherapies for cancer.”
Immunotherapy is just one area using regenerative medicine. The field spans all medical specialties, from prenatal surgery to cardiology to neurology, and beyond.
Maria Astudillo Potes, in Mayo Clinic’s Postbaccalaureate Program, had a personal reason for attending the Regenerative Medicine and Surgery Selective course. She became interested in regenerative medicine for neurological disorders after her grandfather suffered a spinal cord injury in 2016.
“My grandfather’s injury sparked my interest in stem cells and regenerative medicine,” says Astudillo Potes. “This course helped me to understand how the work in the lab is being translated and applied to patient care across disciplines.”
Astudillo Potes is starting her M.D., Ph.D., training this summer, where she hopes to study the role of stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries.
The Regenerative Medicine and Surgery Selective is offered twice yearly by Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and is co-sponsored by Regenerative Medicine Minnesota.
Medicine Education at Mayo Clinic
The Center for Regenerative Medicine offers education and training on regenerative medicine techniques, advances and application for learners at all levels of expertise, from online modules available to the general public to specialized training for current and future medical professionals. Additionally, the center disseminates knowledge about regenerative medicine through conferences and symposiums and expands learning opportunities through strategic education collaborations. Richard Hayden, M.D., is the director of education for the Center for Regenerative Medicine.