Realization of Alan Russell’s Vision
Update 5 Years Later
Exciting things have been coming out of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Over the past few years, the physical therapy students have enjoyed amazing lectures and instruction given by Dr. Fabrisia Ambrosio, Dr. Jessie VanSwearingen, and others from the Institute.
In case you missed the wildly successful Inaugural Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation, they’re holding another! The Second Annual Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 12-13, 2012. To find out more regarding programming and registration by visiting the Symposium’s website. If you’re still not convinced or have heard very little regarding the potential of stem cells, check out our TED Video of the Week given by Dr. Alan Russell. What might be a future physical therapists’s role in providing specific stresses to tissues injected with stem cells? We know that just infusing a joint with stem cells isn’t enough to magically repair damaged tissue. Might they be the true experts who specialize in applying the appropriate forces to help change those undifferentiated cells into a meniscus? Pretty intriguing!
[Bio from TED.com]
Alan Russell is a professor of surgery — and of chemical engineering. In crossing the two fields, he is expanding our palette of treatments for disease, injury and congenital defects. We can treat symptoms, he says, or we can replace our damaged parts with bioengineered tissue. As he puts it: “If newts can regenerate a lost limb, why can’t we?”
The founding director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh, Russell leads an ambitious biomedicine program that explores tissue engineering, stem cell research, biosurgery and artificial and biohybrid organs. They’ve also started testing a new kind of heart pump, figured out that Botox can help with enlarged prostate, and identified human adipose cells as having the possibility to repair skeletal muscle. In his own Russell Lab, his team has studied antimicrobial surfaces and helping to develop a therapy to reduce scarring on muscle after injury. Lately, his lab is involved in biotechnology studies in relation to chemical and biological weapons defense.