The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, proposes to launch a high-impact, multidisciplinary and unique initiative in regenerative and stem cell biology drawing upon the special advantages of marine invertebrates. Regenerative and stem cell biology is being recognized in medical centers across the country as a critical area of science for establishing the potential of regenerative medicine. In this emerging field, scientists seek to define and understand the natural processes by which damaged or aging tissues and organs can regenerate or be repaired, and to apply that knowledge to developing medical therapies. Although mammalian systems are unquestionably of direct relevance and great importance for human health, non-mammalian models including bacterial, fungal, invertebrate and vertebrate systems have contributed enormously to our understanding of the fundamental cell and tissue biology that underpin medical advances. Among possible model systems, marine invertebrates and lower vertebrate organisms hold great promise specifically as research models for regeneration, particularly as the field progresses in decoding their genomes. The MBL has invested in the cognate areas of cellular dynamics, imaging, genomics, marine husbandry and biodiversity informatics. The MBL is renowned for its advanced research training programs in physiology, neurobiology, embryology and gene regulatory networks. We believe the physical and intellectual infrastructure investments already made at the MBL pre- adapt it to launch a new initiative in Regenerative Biology. The missing element is to establish a critical mass of individuals focused on this area. The P30 program support is vital for recruiting two individuals who, with existing MBL scientists, would provide the critical mass for establishing the Center. We believe that the time is ripe to exploit the special experimental potential of marine organisms and that the MBL is uniquely pre- adapted to serve as the home for a new Center for Regenerative Biology.
In the emerging field of regenerative biology, scientists seek to define and understand the natural processes by which damaged or aging tissues and organs can regenerate or be repaired, and to apply that knowledge to developing medical therapies. Marine invertebrates and lower vertebrate organisms hold great promise specifically as research models for regeneration, particularly as the field progresses in decoding their genomes.
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