Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • May 20, 2013 | 03:59 p.m.

    Hello, how has the IGERT mechanism helped in your research, and can you describe briefly how these projects will be continued in the next few year, what are your future directions?

  • Icon for: Nicholas Pashos

    Nicholas Pashos

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 08:56 a.m.

    Dear Dr. Baudry,

    IGERT has given us an interdisciplinary approach to our research that is not just focused on the aspect of pure biomedical science, but also its applied utility. It has encouraged us to seek for translational ideas to implement our research in a pragmatic market. Thus, IGERT has not just only emphasized in purely scientific ideals, but also has us thinking about our research in a practical sense for an entrepreneurial/business realm.

    In the near future, through the IGERT program our understanding of translational research on the regulatory side will substantially be helped through the summer externship at the FDA located in Silver Spring, MD— for which our first cohort is currently in the process of moving to DC for. This aspect of our IGERT program will allow us to gain a very unique perspective of translational medicine, that could potentially be applied to our approaches to research.

    We hope these two research projects in regenerative medicine can feasibly be translated into a hospital setting/biotech market. Much of the science in these projects is predicated upon figuring out the translational aspects and thus the major future direction (besides just understanding the basic science) is figuring out how the scientific technology in the projects can be implemented into a utilizable market. This requires basic science research such as further analyzing cells on biological or synthetic materials, but also further research into viable clinical trials, regulatory processes, and future market for regenerative medicine.

    Thank you for taking the time to view our project.

  • May 21, 2013 | 10:59 a.m.

    Hi!
    What is the scaffold made up of?
    Is it biocompatible?

  • Icon for: Nicholas Pashos

    Nicholas Pashos

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 07:16 p.m.

    Dear Dr. Ramesh,

    The scaffolds are biocompatible. A decellularized lung matrix is used as the scaffold for the lung regeneration project; and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), polyurethane and a couple other biomaterials are currently be assessed for use as scaffolds for the esophagus regeneration project.

    Thank you for taking your time to view our poster and video.

  • May 21, 2013 | 12:41 p.m.

    As part of your training program, do you interact with clinicians?

  • Icon for: Nicholas Pashos

    Nicholas Pashos

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 07:37 p.m.

    Dear Dr. Seeliger,

    Yes, we do have interactions with clinicians. The interdisciplinary nature of our program allows for us to take classes at the School of Science and Engineering, School of Medicine and at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Additionally, all of the Tulane IGERT Bioinnovation Fellows have projects with a translational value focus, usually entailing a collaboration with a clinician. Both of the projects, lung and esophagus regeneration, described in our poster and video, are located at the School of Medicine allowing for collaborations and interactions with physicians. Through our coursework, the translational component of our program, and the location of our research projects our training program encourages interactions with not only clinicians but also lawyers, law students, engineers, medical students and entrepreneurs.

    Thank you for your question and viewing our project!

  • Icon for: Zhaomin Yang

    Zhaomin Yang

    Judge
    May 21, 2013 | 08:46 p.m.

    What is the number of new patients each year waiting for lung transplant in the US and has the trend changed in recent years?

  • Icon for: Nicholas Pashos

    Nicholas Pashos

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 11:41 p.m.

    Dear Dr. Yang,

    According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network there has been a growing trend since 2005 of new patients being added to the lung transplant list who are in need of a donor lung. In 2011 there were approximately 2,200 new patients added; compared to the approximate 1,300 in 2005. Additionally, the number of lung donors is not increasing at the same rate as patients being added to the wait list; resulting in a higher demand than available supply of donor lungs.

    Dr. Yang, thank you very much for taking your time to watch our video and read through our poster.

  • May 21, 2013 | 09:38 p.m.

    Does the IGERT program include work with bioethicists’ and with patent lawyers since this appears to be a “breakthrough” technology that could be scaled up?

  • Icon for: Nicholas Pashos

    Nicholas Pashos

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 11:42 a.m.

    Dear Dr. Hager,
    Yes, some of the research projects that our Fellows are pursing had/ currently are involved with patent lawyers. The Bioinnovation IGERT program also encourages us to take an Intellectual Property course, offered through the Tulane Law School, taught by a lawyer. Additionally, through our entrepreneurship coursework during the winter term, we had an opportunity to have a Q&A with a lawyer from our university’s technology transfer office.

    It is interesting you should ask about bioethics and its role in our program. This has actually been a buzz topic around our program. Bioethics is supposed to be incorporated into our graduate training during our summer externships at the FDA this summer (starting May 27th). The three of us Fellows, the inaugural class of the IGERT Bioinnovation Program, are very much looking forward to the opportunity of working at the FDA, further learning and exploring topics like regulatory and bioethics.

    Thank you for taking your time to ask us questions about our program.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion

  • Small default profile

    Laurie Lenz

    Guest
    May 21, 2013 | 09:15 p.m.

    Wicked cool research!

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

  1. Nicholas Pashos
  2. http://www.igert.org/profiles/5223
  3. Graduate Student
  4. Presenter’s IGERT
  5. Tulane University
  1. Derek Dashti
  2. http://www.igert.org/profiles/5365
  3. Graduate Student
  4. Presenter’s IGERT
  5. Tulane University
  1. Karolina Kosakowska
  2. http://www.igert.org/profiles/5335
  3. Graduate Student
  4. Presenter’s IGERT
  5. Tulane University

Regenerating organs using stem cells and biomaterials

The goal of regenerative medicine is to provide novel solutions by which body tissues and subsequent organs can be repaired or replaced. An important aspect of this research is its highly translational value. The IGERT Bioinnovation program at Tulane University focuses on translational research, in which regenerative medicine is one approach to provide applicable scientific research to the medical market. Two innovative projects at Tulane University’s Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, involve regenerating the lung and esophagus by using specialized stem cells in unique biomaterials, both biological and synthetic biomaterials. Critically, there is a dire need to regenerate both organs: there is a high demand for lung transplantations with a low number of suitable donors, and a high rate of esophageal cancers that destroy the esophagus. The regenerative approach for the lung requires autologous (self) stem cells implanted in a decellularized lung biological material, while for the esophagus both allogeneic (non-self) and autologous stem cells are implanted in a synthetic biodegradable material. Both approaches are unique and provide applicable ways in which the target organ can be regenerated and then implanted into the body.
Significantly, both regenerative models not only provide a schematic to specifically reconstruct the lung or esophagus, but the approaches from each application can elucidate the regeneration of other damaged organs as well. Therefore, using unique stem cells and biomaterials to robustly regenerate organs will hopefully translate to novel medical therapies and will successfully satisfy the current need for hard to find donor organs.