Announced in September 2011 as part of NC State University's 2011–2020 strategic plan, the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program is investing $5 million to facilitate partnerships among academic colleges and hire individual scholars or small groups (clusters) of scholars in strategically important areas to further the university's teaching and research mission. One of the 12 proposals selected and funded to participate in the program is the Translational Regenerative Medicine cluster. Faculty from the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research (CCMTR), the College of Engineering, the College of Textiles and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) have partnered to establish this entity with the overall goal of advancing the health and well-being of animals and humans.
Regenerative medicine is a rapidly growing field that requires comprehensive interactive approaches. Currently, NC State has a highly active campus wide interdisciplinary regenerative medicine group. New faculty will work with the current team to coalesce and expand existing expertise in areas including, but not limited to, cardiac and musculoskeletal biology.
Expertise in three areas will allow for greater advancement of novel ideas and methodologies
- With a focus on the translational aspects of stem cells, faculty will interact frequently with clinicians at the College of Veterinary Medicine to identify needs and develop clinical projects at the Veterinary Health Complex.
- Engineering faculty will work on the development, manufacture and operation of custom bioreactors and robotics for targeted applications in regenerative medicine.
- Faculty from the College of Textiles will provide expertise in biomaterials development and characterization, specifically the development and clinical testing of three-dimensional scaffolds.
A pilot manufacturing laboratory is being constructed that will be dedicated to this program and that will be capable of manufacturing clinical-grade material that can be introduced into patients. To enable development and testing of manufacturing technologies that can be applied to both humans and animals, this state-of-the-art facility will meet all FDA standards and will have capabilities for expansion as the program grows.
These collective efforts will link the basic and applied research being undertaken at NC State and similar institutions with the clinical needs and expertise at the CVM and nearby human hospitals.
We are building an internationally recognized program in regenerative medicine based on the unique opportunities available at NC State:
- the availability of naturally occurring and induced large-animal models, and the clinical expertise to study them at the CVM;
- the existence of a clinical studies core within the CCMTR with extensive expertise in designing and implementing clinical trials in large animals;
- the manufacturing expertise in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, a critical resource for moving science from the bench to the bedside;
- the expertise in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, with strengths in multiple aspects of regenerative medicine and functional tissue engineering and with a link to the strong medical program at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill;
- the availability of expertise in material sciences and nonwoven technology in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the College of Textiles, critical for development of new scaffolds required for design of bioengineered organs and tissues; and
- a strong partnership with Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, essential to facilitate the movement of technologies to the human field.
With the creation of this cluster, coupled with the present levels of expertise in the CCMTR, the College of Engineering, the College of Textiles and the College of Veterinary Medicine, NC State is well positioned to educate future scientists in translational regenerative medicine and to share in their exciting discoveries.
Two new faculty members, Ke Cheng and Binil Starly, have recently joined NC State as part of the Translational Regenerative Medicine Cluster.
- Ke Cheng, Associate Professor, Molecular Biomedical Sciences
- Binil Starly, Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering