The advancement of regenerative medicine principles and technologies holds great potential to drive progress in the prevention and treatment of individuals with a host of pathologies resulting from injury, disease or aging. The long-term goal of regenerative medicine is to promote the repair, replacement, or regeneration of tissues. Likewise, rehabilitation seeks to harness the body's innate regenerative potential in order to maximize function. Both fields hold great potential to drive progress in the treatment of a host of acute and chronic pathologies. We propose that these two fields are inextricably intertwined; an intersection of disciplines known as Regenerative Rehabilitation. To fully realize the tremendous potential of Regenerative Rehabilitation, we must promote the interaction of basic scientists with rehabilitation specialists. We must also train rehabilitation clinicians who can help oversee the quality, safety, and validity of these innovative Regenerative Rehabilitation technologies. The overarching goal of the Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research & Training (AR3T) is to establish a national network that will expand scientific knowledge, expertise and methodologies across the domains of regenerative medicine and rehabilitation. AR3T will provide didactic training that exposes rehabilitation researchers to cutting-edge investigations and state-of-the-art technologies in the field of regenerative medicine (Specific Aim 1). AR3T will drive the science underlying Regenerative Rehabilitation by: cultivating collaborative opportunities among rehabilitation researchers and internationally renowned investigators in the field of regenerative medicine (Specific Aim 2); launching a pilot funding program to support novel lines of Regenerative Rehabilitation investigations (Specific Aim 3); developing and validating technologies to elucidate the stem cell response to extrinsic mechanical signals (Specific Aim 4). Careful monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of our program, as outlined in Specific Aim 5, will ensure that these aims achieve the greatest success possible. These five aims have been organized to parallel each of the P2C grant proposal components.
Regenerative Rehabilitation is the integration of principles and approaches in rehabilitation science and regenerative medicine with the ultimate goal of developing innovative and effective methods that promote the restoration of function through tissue regeneration and repair. The Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research & Training (AR3T) will build on the momentum of this growing field by establishing a national network that will illuminate and seize opportunities to expand scientific knowledge, expertise and methodologies across the fields of regenerative medicine and rehabilitation. In the end, the integration of these two fields will increase the efficiency of interventions designed to optimize physical functioning to the benefit of a wide range of individuals with disabilities.
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