RMT Podcast #62 – Sanjeev Shroff, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Sanjeev G. Shroff, PhD, who is the Associate Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh; Professor and Gerald McGinnis Chair in Bioengineering; Professor of Medicine; and Senior Investigator, Magee-Women’s Research Institute.  Dr. Shroff shares highlights of his scientific studies on vascular stiffness and cardiovascular function as well as large-scale mathematical simulations of biological systems for research, education, and engineering design.

For more information about Dr. Shroff, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
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RMT Podcast #60 – David Whitcomb, MD, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. David Whitcomb who is Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, he is the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, as well as the founder and Director of the Center for Genomic Sciences.

Dr. Whitcomb discusses the research of his Division that is pioneering alternative diagnosis and treatment for disorders of the pancreas, liver and the intestine.

For more information about Dr. Whitcomb, please click here.

For more information about the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #59 – Vera Donnenberg, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. Vera Donnenberg, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

A persistent problem in cancer treatment is cancer recurrence after apparently successful therapy which in turn is mediated by a dormant and protected cancer stem/progenitor like cell. Her lab is focused on approaches that can be translated into and understanding the biologic basis for treatment failure and identifying new immunological therapeutic targets.  She introduces the concept of a cancer vaccine to address these needs.

For more information about Dr. Donnenberg, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
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RMT Podcast #54 – Thomas Tillet

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Thomas Tillett, who is the founding President and CEO of RheoGene. Under Mr. Tillett’s leadership, RheoGene established an innovative clinical development program with the RheoSwitch ™ Therapeutic System that has led to the first human clinical trial of a small molecule induced gene regulation system.

A Phase I clinical trial for melanoma was started in 2008. This represents a major advance for gene therapy therapeutics that offers the potential for significant improvements in safer and more controllable forms of gene therapy. RheoGene also received a $4.3 million grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to support the development of a novel therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Tillett also led the successful merger of RheoGene Inc. with Intrexon Corporation at the beginning of 2007.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
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RMT Podcast #51 – Jorg Gerlach, MD, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Jörg C. Gerlach, MD, PhD.

Dr. Gerlach is Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his current appointment Dr. Gerlach founded the Charité Institute for Transplantation and Organ Regeneration (CITO) at the Charité Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.

His specialties lie in surgery, hepatology, intensive care and experimental transplantation medicine. Additionally, he has an engineering background with expertise in artificial organ development, hybrid system research and preclinical trial efforts.

Dr. Gerlach discusses his work on the development of tools such as bioreactors for the expansion of cells so that sufficient cells are available for cell-based therapies.  Areas of focus include pancreas, and liver.  He also explores the development of “cell factories” for the production of cells from a patient’s bone marrow.

Another of Dr. Gerlach’s interests is cell-based burn therapy, which is described on the interview.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Gerlach’s Bioreactor Group.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #50 – Kasey Marra, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. Kacey Marra.

Dr. Marra is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Plastic Surgery Lab at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Marra’s research is focused on the use of adipose derived stem cells for the regeneration of nerve, bone, adipose and cartilage.  The lab uses adipose-derived stem cells for these bioengineering applications.

The Lab is combining basic science and clinical research to turn innovative ideas into realities through the use of adult stem cells derived from fat. Fat, or adipose tissue, contains an abundant number of adult stem cells, over 10 times more than in bone marrow. These cells not only regenerate adipose tissue, but they can reconstruct a variety of injuries and defects by being coaxed to develop into nerves, bone, or cartilage.

Finally, Dr. Marra discusses her strong commitment to mentoring women and minorities in the career opportunities that are available in science and medicine.

For more information on the Adipose Stem Cell Center, please click here.

Click here for more information on the Plastic Surgery Research program.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #47 – Phil Campbell, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. Phil G. Campbell.  Dr. Campbell is a Research Professor, Institute of Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  Also he has academic appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, and the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center at CMU.

Dr. Campbell’s research is focused on the development of “tool sets” that will be resources for regenerative medicine research and clinical therapies.  In the podcast he discusses his work on methodologies and systems that will be required for cell expansion on a commercial vs. a research basis, and how his research is addressing those needs.

He also shares some insight into the use of inkjet printing technologies to print tissue engineered constructs using “bio-inks” vs. the traditional inks used in such printers.  These tool sets are proving to be a significant resource in the study of cell growth on tissue engineered constructs.

Finally, Dr. Campbell discusses his strong commitment to science-based education: from elementary students to senior citizens.

For more information on Dr. Campbell, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #46 – Alan Wells, MD, DMS

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Alan Wells, MD, DMS.  Dr. Wells is the head of Cell Biology at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. At the University of Pittsburgh, he is Vice-Chair and Thomas J Gill III Professor of the Department of Pathology. In addition, Dr. Wells is the Medical Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) CSLI, and the Staff Pathologist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wells discusses his pioneering studies on tumor biology and wound healing.  He shares insight into the basic science and to future clinical applications of his research. One of his interests is in the development of custom therapies, patient-by-patient, for certain illnesses, such as cancer.

Click here for more information on Dr. Wells’ research.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #45 – Eric Lagasse, PharmD, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Eric Lagasse, PharmD, PhD.  Dr. Lagasse is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and the Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Center, a joint venture between the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Lagasse discusses his pioneering research on the use of stem cells for liver therapy.  He also describes his research on the identification of cancer stem cells, and possible alternative cancer therapies if the hypothesis is affirmed that cancer stem cells are the source of the tumors and the reason for metastasis.

Click here for more information on Dr. Lagasse’s research.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #37 – George Christ, PhD

George Christ, PhD visits Regenerative Medicine Today and shares his vision on regenerative medicine. Dr. Christ is a professor at Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Christ’s research interests are in the area of functional genomics, that is, establishing a verifiable link between changes in gene expression and alterations in cell/organ/tissue function/dysfunction, and then using this information to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of smooth muscle diseases/disorders. To this end, Dr. Christ has developed a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes various visceral and vascular smooth muscle tissues/organs to attempt to establish “cause and effect” relationships between molecular/genetic alterations and measurable changes in organ function, namely, contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle cells.

Details of Dr. Christ’s work are available here.

To learn more about the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #34 – David Baer, PhD

Dr. David Baer visits Regenerative Medicine Today and discusses the programs of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.  Dr. Baer is the Director of the Research Office at the Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas.

In the podcast, Dr. Baer discusses:

  • Mission of the Army includes operational medicine; aka sports medicine in the civilian world
  • Institute’s focus on combat casualty care and traumatic injury
  • Interest in regenerative medicine to address severe injuries
  • The new medical challenges from the current conflict
  • The broad scope of the Institute from basic science to clinical studies
  • Training and career opportunities at ISR

For more information about Institute of Surgical Research, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #32 – Bruno Peault, PhD

Dr. Bruno Peault visits Regenerative Medicine Today and discusses the status of his emerging results on the identification, characterization and application of adult stem cells for therapeutic applications.

Dr. Bruno Peault and his colleague, Dr. Johnny Huard, provide the leadership for the Stem Cell Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh/Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The Center focuses on expanding the possibilities of tissue engineering by unlocking the potential of gene therapy and adult stem cell research and transferring research findings into the development of effective treatments for damaged or diseased tissues.

In this podcast, Dr. Peault highlights some of the promising initiatives emerging from his laboratories and explores the future in cell-based therapies. One of the topics addressed in the interview is that the Peault Lab has identified that adult human adipose tissue is an accessible source of perivascular cells. These cells exhibit multilineage potential; these results suggest that the adipose tissue-derived pericyte is an attractive candidate for cell-based therapy of muscle diseases, and also indicates the likely vascular origin of the elusive fat-derived stem cells.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #30 – Ajit Yoganathan, PhD

In Podcast 30, we meet Ajit Yoganathan, PhD, Regents’ Professor, Associate Chair for Research, and the Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Yoganathan and his colleagues are focusing on the development artificial heart valves and the use of novel instrumentation such as Doppler ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to non-invasively study blood flow patterns in the heart.

Dr. Yoganathan established and leads the Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. The objective of this laboratory is to integrate biological knowledge with engineering principles to understand the function and mechanics of various cardiovascular diseases and help the cardiac surgeons in planning, developing and implementing novel surgical repair techniques using state-of-the-art technology available today. The key thrust areas of the laboratory are in understanding the function and mechanics of native and prosthetic heart valves and in correcting pediatric and adult congenital heart defects.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #28 – Thomas Harris, PhD

In Podcast 28, we meet Thomas R. Harris, MD, PhD, the Orrin Henry Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Medicine at Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Harris also serves as chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Harris is a Fellow and past president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

The focus of this podcast is the work of Dr. Harris and his colleagues on the development of learning science and learning technology for bioengineering. Dr. Harris is the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies. The Center is a large, multi-university effort involving Vanderbilt, Northwestern University, the University of Texas and the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program. Its purpose has been to develop a new system for bioengineering education.

Dr. Harris is also widely recognized for his research into the problems of lung circulation with an emphasis on transport phenomena, quantitative physiology, mathematical modeling and instrumentation, Dr. Harris has published more than 230 papers, book chapters, proceedings and abstracts in these fields. His research has been concentrated on the quantitative physiology of the exchange of fluids and solutes in the capillaries of the lung.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #27 – Michael Chancellor, MD

In Podcast 27, we meet Dr. Michael Chancellor who is a Professor of Urology at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a practicing OBGYN. Within the School of Medicine, he is also the Director of Neurourology and Urinary Incontinence Programs. In addition, Dr. Chancellor is the Director of the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program in Urology, a research training program sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Dr. Chancellor’s research interests include developing a new and novel solution to an age-old problem…urinary incontinence.  This is a problem that affects over 17 million in the United States.  The adult diaper market is estimated to be a $4 billion dollar a year business!

Clinically, Dr. Chancellor uses all of the available resources to treat urinary incontinence, ranging from exercise, to medication, to injection of collagen, to surgery.   The injection of collagen can be effective…but for only short periods.

In collaboration with Dr. Johnny Huard, they have developed a promising alterative approach to the treatment of adult urinary incontinence…the use of the patient’s own stem cells that are harvested from the patient’s leg muscle. This technology has been licensed and Cook Myosite.

This novel procedure has been recently tested for safety in humans, and as a result of the positive results, an expanded clinical trial will begin soon to further investigate the effectiveness of this therapy.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

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