Regenerative medicine encompasses both tissue engineering and self-healing, and the discipline has emerged as a hugely valuable one with immense ramifications for improving human health. While the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) has had resounding success in its short existence, we lack an integrated mechanism to support training of the pre-doctoral students that represent the next generation of regenerative medicine researchers. Thus, we seek support for a new T32-training program to meet this need. The proposed program is a logical extension of the ongoing multidisciplinary collaboration of investigators at WFIRM, all located in a new state-of-the-at building on the downtown campus of Wake Forest School of Medicine. WFIRM has a unique infrastructure that provides facilities and expertise for translational studies, from basic preclincal findings all the way through Phase 2 clinical trials. Training will include traditional didactic course work, a variety of WFIRM-wide training activities, participation in cutting-edge research projects, grant writing, and scientific presentations, and exposure to ethical issues in regenerative medicine. There will be 6 areas of research focus: 1) urological~ 2) cardiovascular~ 3) musculoskeletal~ 4) endocrine tissue~ 5) stem cells~ &6) biomaterials/enabling technologies. Each area of focus contains at least five faculty members with complementary expertise, who will participate in the training and supervision of graduate students as co- mentors. Students will be selected from 3 Tracks within the newly configured structure of the WFU Graduate School: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Biomedical Engineering, or Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology. After a common 1st year curriculum (that is unique to each track), students will identify one of our 10 primary mentors (of the 19 total program faculty), take two additional regenerative medicine-based courses, and choose a graduate committee that will guide the student through their thesis work. The Program Director, Dr. George Christ, has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the Training program, assisted by Dr. Anthony Attala (the Associate Director) and an Executive Committee composed of senior experienced trainers. A novel aspect of the proposed mentoring structure is the inclusion of seasoned faculty (Primary Mentors~ 10), young rising faculty (Mentors in Training~ 5), and senior faculty that have career-long mentoring experience (Emeritus Mentors~ 4). The training program will be reviewed and evaluated annually by an Internal Advisory Committee and by an External Advisory Committee, whose members have extensive experience managing training programs as well as nationally renowned research programs in regenerative medicine. Given the world-class stature of WFIRM, our extensive national and international collaborations, and the restructuring of our graduate program to reflect the need for multi-disciplinary training, this application provides a unique training opportunity. As such, this proposal is timely, thoughtfully planned, and specifically designed to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained investigators in the many facets of regenerative medicine.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed T32 training program is a logical extension of the ongoing multidisciplinary collaborative research of the outstanding faculty t the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). WFIRM's unique infrastructure provides facilities and expertise for translational studies, from basic biology, to preclinical findings and Phase 2 clinical trials. Training will include: didactic course work, a wide variety o WFIRM-wide training activities, participation in cutting-edge research projects, training n grant writing and scientific presentations, as well as exposure to ethical issues in regeneratie medicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1-OSR-D (J1))
Program Officer
Baird, Richard A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
McQuilling, John Patrick; Opara, Emmanuel C (2017) Methods for Incorporating Oxygen-Generating Biomaterials into Cell Culture and Microcapsule Systems. Methods Mol Biol 1479:135-141
McQuilling, John P; Sittadjody, Sivanandane; Pendergraft, Samuel et al. (2017) Applications of particulate oxygen-generating substances (POGS) in the bioartificial pancreas. Biomater Sci 5:2437-2447
McQuilling, John Patrick; Sittadjody, Sivanandane; Pareta, Rajesh et al. (2017) Retrieval of Microencapsulated Islet Grafts for Post-transplant Evaluation. Methods Mol Biol 1479:157-171
Sittadjody, Sivanandane; Saul, Justin M; McQuilling, John P et al. (2017) In vivo transplantation of 3D encapsulated ovarian constructs in rats corrects abnormalities of ovarian failure. Nat Commun 8:1858
Devarasetty, Mahesh; Skardal, Aleksander; Cowdrick, Kyle et al. (2017) Bioengineered Submucosal Organoids for In Vitro Modeling of Colorectal Cancer. Tissue Eng Part A 23:1026-1041
Konar, Dipasri; Devarasetty, Mahesh; Yildiz, Didem V et al. (2016) Lung-On-A-Chip Technologies for Disease Modeling and Drug Development. Biomed Eng Comput Biol 7:17-27
Baker, Hannah B; McQuilling, John P; King, Nancy M P (2016) Ethical considerations in tissue engineering research: Case studies in translation. Methods 99:135-44
Skardal, Aleksander; Devarasetty, Mahesh; Forsythe, Steven et al. (2016) A reductionist metastasis-on-a-chip platform for in vitro tumor progression modeling and drug screening. Biotechnol Bioeng 113:2020-32
Wagoner, Ashley L; Shaltout, Hossam A; Fortunato, John E et al. (2016) Distinct neurohumoral biomarker profiles in children with hemodynamically defined orthostatic intolerance may predict treatment options. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 310:H416-25
Skardal, Aleksander; Devarasetty, Mahesh; Kang, Hyun-Wook et al. (2015) A hydrogel bioink toolkit for mimicking native tissue biochemical and mechanical properties in bioprinted tissue constructs. Acta Biomater 25:24-34

Showing the most recent 10 out of 13 publications