The Regenerative Medicine (RM) field requires a new type of researcher, well-trained in fundamental RM concepts and methods, able to integrate human biology and engineered systems with awareness of challenges involved in advancing basic research, regulatory science, and clinical translation. The overall goal of our T32 pre-doctoral training program, ?Studies in Translational Regenerative Medicine?, remains committed to developing next generation multidisciplinary trained research scientists and engineers, who will lead new diverse research teams designing solutions to real-world health problems and advance the RM field. Ability to link state-of-the-art multidisciplinary basic science training to the infrastructure and knowledge base required to accelerate translation of RM technologies are key strengths. To date, this T32 program has provided 10 PhD trainees the tools to become independent RM researchers. Consistent with faculty's successful record of educating pre-, post-doctoral and early-career faculty, the first cycle of our T32 program exceeded goals. Trainees accrued an impressive list of quality publications (66 published/14 in process) and oral and poster presentations (103) at local, national and international meetings. Importantly, 100% of appointed trainees are currently working on their PhD requirements or have obtained their PhD degrees. Six trainees completed their T32 training and PhD defense and successfully moved on to academic or non- academic careers. Of these, 4 (66%) remain in explicitly focused RM research. Three (50%) were recruited, because of their T32 training, into industry positions with extensive RM portfolios. WFIRM's distinctive infrastructure provides the facilities and expertise for translational studies ranging from basic preclinical studies through Phase 2 clinical trials. WFIRM's multidisciplinary training includes a range of activities, including didactic courses, participation in cutting-edge team science, and new opportunities to engage in academic, government, and industrial externships. The new program emphasizes professional and career development, including project and time management, grant writing, regulatory science, GMP manufacturing, and scientific ethics. The program has 3 NIBIB-aligned focus areas: 1) biomaterials; 2) enabling technologies (bioprinting, body-on-a-chip, imaging & multifluidics); and 3) stem cells/cell therapies applied to one or more application areas: 1) cardiovascular; 2) musculoskeletal; 3) gastrointestinal/endocrinal; and 4) urological. Trainees are selected from 4 of 7 WFGS tracks: Biomedical Engineering, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, Neuroscience or Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology. After a common 1st year curriculum (unique to each track), trainees identify one of 10 primary mentors (of 19 mentoring faculty), take specialized RM courses and choose a graduate committee. Inclusion of seasoned Primary Mentors (10), Mentors-in-Training (6), and Emeritus Mentors (3) with career-long mentoring experience is a unique program aspect. The program is reviewed by Internal and External Advisory Boards composed of prominent academic, government, and industry members.

Public Health Relevance

This program aims to train graduate students on the path to obtaining their PhDs to become translational research scientists and engineers who can integrate human biology and engineered systems to investigate and develop new technologies, diagnostics, and experimental therapeutics in patients and model disease systems. This competing renewal of our pre-doctoral training program in translational regenerative medicine remains a logical extension of the ongoing collaborative multidisciplinary research of the institute's outstanding faculty. WFIRM's unique infrastructure provides pre-doctoral trainees' access to RM experts and state-of-the- art facilities, allowing these trainees to be properly educated in the multidisciplinary field of RM, from basic science to translational applications, including the development of Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1)
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Erim, Zeynep
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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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; Soker, Shay et al. (2015) In situ patterned micro 3D liver constructs for parallel toxicology testing in a fluidic device. Biofabrication 7:031001

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