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Regenerative medicine today: Are diabetes and vascular disease treatments ready for the clinic?

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Regenerative medicine today: Are diabetes and vascular disease treatments ready for the clinic?

30 October 2019

12:00 p.m. ET

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Regenerative medicine—which involves regrowing damaged or dysfunctional cells, tissues, and organs, in order to treat and cure human disease—holds great promise. Discoveries in stem cell research and tissue engineering as well as advances in regulatory and industry support have brought regenerative medicine treatments closer than ever to the clinic. Two areas showing particular potential are diabetes and vascular disease. Whether acquired or congenital, diabetes afflicts millions of people worldwide and presents a tremendous burden both in terms of physical deterioration and loss of economic capacity. Current treatments rely mainly on lifetime injections of exogenous hormones and palliative treatments with pharmaceuticals, neither of which can address the lack of properly functioning beta cells in the pancreas. Similarly, vascular diseases are among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity. The ability to generate new, clinical-grade vascular tissue is critical to the long-term treatment of complications arising from ischemic injury, stroke, aneurisms, retinopathy, and other acute and chronic vascular conditions; significant progress has been made in using stem cell sources to produce this tissue. But what is needed to get such potentially transformative treatments over the finish line?

During this webinar, the speakers will:

  • Provide an overview of regenerative medicine
  • Explain how close treatments for diseases such as diabetes and vascular disease are to clinical approval
  • Answer viewer questions live during the broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Juan Dominguez-Bendala, Ph.D.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Miami, FL

Juan Domínguez-Bendala, Ph.D., is director of the Stem Cell Development for Translational Research and research associate professor of surgery at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Before joining the DRI faculty, he worked at the Roslin Institute (Scotland, United Kingdom) under the supervision of one of the creators of Dolly the sheep. He obtained his Ph.D. there and acquired considerable experience in embryonic stem cell research and state-of-the-art genetic engineering techniques. Working with other DRI faculty and international collaborators, Dr. Domínguez-Bendala is currently involved in several projects that focus on the use of stem cells to obtain pancreatic islets that could be safely and efficiently transplanted into patients with type 1 diabetes. He is also working on new methods for the endogenous regeneration of pancreatic beta cells.

Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D.

Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

As deputy director of Translation for the Center for Regenerative Medicine, medical director of the Advanced Product Incubator, and director of the Van Cleve Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Behfar has worked to establish off-the-shelf good manufacturing practice (GMP)-grade regenerative technologies. Over the last two decades, his program has engaged in evaluating cell-based technologies for restoration of skeletal and cardiac muscle function. During this time, he initiated clinical trials in heart failure along with Dr. Andre Terzic, using stem cells to restore cardiac function and treating over 400 patients. Through that experience, it was discovered that exosome secretion was the primary driver of the regenerative action of stem cells. More specifically, an exosome product was purified (termed “purified exosome product,” or PEP) from our regenerative platform that revealed massive biopotency in activating regeneration through mitogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and provasculogenic influence. This discovery now serves as the basis for many preclinical and clinical efforts at Mayo Clinic.

Jackie Oberst, Ph.D.

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Oberst did her undergraduate training at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ph.D. in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. She combined her interests in science and writing by pursuing an M.A. in Journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Oberst joined Science/AAAS in 2016 as the Assistant Editor for Custom Publishing. Before then she worked at Nature magazine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Endocrine Society, and the National Institutes of Mental Health.

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