While we can all applaud the progress that has been made, I would like to take this opportunity to share my vision for the future and seek your participation in the realization of the goals of the Institute. Using the Institute's Mission Statement as a roadmap, the following are my insights on the status and future direction:
- To provide a national center of expertise in regenerative medicine focused
on developing and delivering therapies that reestablish tissue and organ function
impaired by disease, trauma or congenital abnormalities.
Our progress to date is clearly attributable to the achievements of the individual teams lead by our distinguished faculty and by the collaborative activities amongst different faculty-lead teams. The Institute can serve to assist via joint ventures, and the support of exploratory studies. As always, I seek your suggestions on needs and means to further enhance improvements in this area.
- To foster the generation of scientific knowledge in regenerative medicine
and to share that knowledge with researchers, clinicians and the public through
educational activities, training and publications.
One of the important roles of the Institute is to promote and facilitate inter-group collaboration. The seminars, annual retreat, McGowan Student Network, and forthcoming changes to the Institute web site all support these initiatives; however we must be ever-vigilant for new opportunities in this area. Public education is moving forward through our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, but other suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.
- To educate and train scientists and engineers to pursue technologies
related to regenerative medicine, and train a generation of clinicians in
the implementation of regenerative therapies.
This is the only region in the Country that has training grants for Undergraduates (PTEI), Pre-Doctoral (CATER) and Post-Doctoral (PTEI). The recently awarded T-32 CATER Training Grant (Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration) will be activated with the Fall Semester.
- To support the commercialization of technologies in regenerative medicine
and thereby accelerate the translation of research discoveries to clinical
implementation and patient benefit.
Progress to date has been slow but steady; in the past 12 months we have identified several partnerships and collaborative with industrial organizations. As our projects continue to mature, this will be an increasingly important area, and must be one of our high-priority focus areas for the coming year. Our partnership with the Limbach Entrepreneurial Center is designed to facilitate progress in this area.
I look forward to another exciting year of advances in science and progress toward the movement of our emerging technologies to clinical/commercial use. As noted above, this progress is directly attributable to all of the McGowan Team; I trust that collectively we will be able to look back on our 3rd anniversary and say that we have made more progress along the road we jointly travel.
Thanks and Best Wishes for Continued Success!
Alan J. Russell, Ph.D.