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Mission, Vision, Strategy & Goals

mission

Mission

The mission of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine is to create a research environment that stimulates and fosters a broad range of interdisciplinary work designed to fully understand stem cell biology and transform medicine with its discoveries. In particular, the Center will:

  • develop and support a highly collaborative environment for research, clinical translation, and education;
  • cultivate a broad range of interdisciplinary stem cell research (i.e., basic and translational stem cell biology research);
  • encourage rapid translation of discoveries into innovative and practical clinical applications that will enhance the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of multiple human diseases (i.e., translational and clinical regenerative medicine research); and
  • attract pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies performing related research and development, stimulating investment and local economic growth.

Vision

In the near future, plans for the Center include the development of two core facilities which will act in tandem to fuel stem cell research by enhancing stem cell production, differentiation and banking of the cells.

The first core facility will grow stem cells of all kinds and multiple species which are in high demand by researchers. In particular, human embryonic stem cells and human-induced pluripotent stem cells, both of which are able to develop into different types of cells or tissues in the body, are among the most difficult of any cells to grow in the lab, slowing the pace of research. Scientists from the University of Maryland as well as throughout the region, including the National Institutes of Health, other universities and a myriad of biotechnology companies, will be able to expedite their research through access to the stem cells grown here.

In the second core facility, stem cells will be modified genetically, providing scientists cell models for many different diseases. Cells will be engineered to increase or decrease their production of certain molecules, which will enable researchers to study how such changes affect the cell’s abilities to carry out its functions. The modification of cells is a painstaking process, sometimes requiring years of work by highly skilled scientists. By providing the modified cells to individual researchers, the Center’s core lab will help make their science more efficient and speed the discovery process.

By understanding the inner mechanics of how stem cells work, the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine promises to make breakthroughs that will enable us to diagnose diseases earlier, cure them more effectively, and someday prevent them.

The Stem Cell Center will: 

  • Perform and foster interactive research and education in basic, translational, and clinical stem cell research
  • Enlist and foster interactions among stem cell researchers throughout the University of Maryland System and neighboring institutions and corporations
  • Enhance education on stem cell biology and ethical, legal and societal issues with Participation of other UM schools, including Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work, and Law
  • Develop collaborative graduate and postgraduate educational programs, such as a “High Impact” Stem Cell Research Article Journal Club and seminar series highlighting important themes in stem cell research
  • Educate the community via lectures, Mini-Med School, and interactions with media
  • Advocate for the State of Maryland’s continuing support for stem cell research
  • Improve core resources for stem cell research, including stem cell production, differentiation, and banking, training in stem cell methodology, and support for trainees

Strategy

The Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine’s overall strategy is to create an interdisciplinary, highly interactive stem cell research environment that bridges from the basic science of stem cell biology to clinical investigation of stem cell treatments in human diseases. Research areas are being targeted that are likely to transition in the near term from lab bench to bedside. By understanding the inner mechanics of how stem cells work, the Center promises to make breakthroughs that will enable us to diagnose diseases earlier, cure them more effectively, and someday prevent them. Clinical “translation” is essential to evaluate potential new therapies, and establish efficacy for curing human disease, or reveal residual barriers. Promoting interaction between basic and clinical investigators is a top priority, so that problems and obstacles discovered in clinical practice are productively returned to the lab to identify new solutions.

Goals

The Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine’s overall goals are to enhance understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of multiple human diseases. The Center cultivates a range of interdisciplinary basic and translational stem cell research and encourages rapid translation of discoveries into innovative and practical clinical applications. The Center provides an organizational working group structure for stem cell biology research and regenerative medicine and translation at the University of Maryland, develops seminars and symposia to encourage stem cell research and regenerative medicine studies at the University of Maryland, has developed a core stem cell production facility and is planning other core facilities, contributes to graduate and post-graduate education at the University of Maryland, organizes philanthropic and economic development efforts to enhance stem cell research and regenerative medicine projects and facilities at the University of Maryland and across the State of Maryland, and contributes to the ongoing local and national dialog on policy and ethical issues related to stem cells.