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New Laboratory Focuses on Regenerative Medicine and High School Outreach
Through the collaborative efforts of the UT Knoxville College of Engineering and the UT Graduate School of Medicine Department of Surgery, the Graduate School of Medicine has expanded the Vascular Research Laboratory with the creation of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory (RegenMed). Led by Chris Stephens, PhD, Assistant Professor, Surgery, a multi-disciplinary approach is used to research and create devices to be used in regenerative medicine. This includes research in tissue engineering, development of artificial organs, and development of medical implants and stem cells. The laboratory's primary focus is the use of basic, translational and clinical research to develop off-the-shelf treatments that do not require personalized cell culture prior to implantation.
Currently, clinical research is being done in collaboration with the Medical Simulation Center; Roberto Benson, PhD, Professor and Associate Head, Materials Science and Engineering, UT; and Scott Guelcher, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, to develop tissue simulants that will allow for more accurate surgical models for surgical training.
In translational research, investigators are developing an endovascularly delivered surface treatment to reduce intimal hyperplasia (IH) after angioplasty. This treatment has the potential to help a significant portion of the more than one million patients in the US suffering from IH caused by restenosis. The research team is also working on a venous valve design to help patients presenting with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) that takes a biometric approach and is also endovascularly delivered. Statistics indicate 500,000 US patients present with lower leg ulcers due to CVI.
In basic research, an in-vitro model that simulates damaged vessel lumen and can be imaged in real-time conditions is being created as well as vascular tissue models for the study of potential drug treatments.
In addition to research, RegenMed offers a program to junior-level high school students to prepare them for graduate study in medical research. Including students from Bearden, Central, Farragut and West high schools, in Knox County, students participate in a year-long course in research basics with the opportunity to conduct research in the RegenMed laboratory their senior year. High school sophomores interested in participating in next year's class may contact Dr. Stephens for more information.
Graduate School of Medicine faculty and staff collaborating in RegenMed with Dr. Stephens include Oscar Grandas, MD, Lead Medical Advisor; Deidra Mountain, PhD; Mitchell Goldman, MD; Thomas Gaines, MD; Jeffrey Everett, MD; Raymond Dieter, MD; Michael Freeman, MD; Leonard Hines, MD; Paul Huffstutter, MD; David Cassada, MD; Melinda Klar, RN; and Judy Roark, CST.
|Graduate School of Medicine
University of Tennessee