A major health challenge that our society faces is premature death and morbidity associated with the shortage of healthy donor tissues or organs for transplantation and the limited regenerative capacity of our body due to serious injury or disease. Research that entails the convergence of disparate disciplines to create new frameworks, tools, and a new common language is positioned to better enable solutions to complex problems such as the aforementioned one. Regenerative engineering is the convergence of advanced materials science, stem cell and developmental biology, physical sciences, and translational medicine to reconstruct or regenerate complex tissues and organs. The objective of this training program is to offer the curriculum and environment needed to train the next generation of convergence researchers that are versed in the development and use of regenerative engineering solutions. Specifically, program graduates will have the capacity to develop scientific, technical, and clinical knowledge and skills that will enable them to recognize and solve challenges associated with the restoration of tissue and organ function. Core innovative elements of the program include: 1) clinical immersion rotations to gain direct insight into organ failure and tissue reconstruction challenges that afflict patients and physicians; 2) a 3-member mentorship team that includes 1 clinical, 1 life/physical sciences, and 1 engineering faculty member; 3) internships at companies with product development expertise involving regenerative engineering; and 4) experiential courses to learn essential experimental techniques. The program, housed in the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering at Northwestern University, will be a joint effort involving diverse faculty from the schools of engineering, arts and sciences, and medicine. Northwestern University has a long history of transdisciplinary collaborations and has the resources and pedagogical tools to establish a unique national program to train new leaders. Trainees will be mentored by preceptors working in molecular and stem cell biology, nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, regenerative engineering, molecular biophysics, biomaterials, bioelectronics, surgery, and translational medicine. Examples of ongoing collaborations include programs for the regeneration of bladder, bone, blood vessels, pancreas, liver, kidney, skin, muscle, the immune system, and nerves. We propose to train 3 pre-doctoral trainees in year 1 and 6 trainees for each of years 2-5. Trainees will be selected from applicants in the department of Biomedical Engineering, including those from the medical scientist training program. We expect to produce the next generation of regenerative engineering thought leaders that are competent in convergence research aimed at tackling the aforementioned societal health challenges and improving patient outcomes.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/21 → 8/31/26|
- National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (3T32EB031527-02S1)
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