GHSU institute to focus on regenerative medicine

Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) has established the Institute for Regenerative and Reparative Medicine, designed to expand studies of diseases or injuries that impact the muscles and skeleton, the central nervous system, and the head and neck.

Initiatives include regrowing bone and cartilage lost to age or injury, as well as mandibles destroyed in car accidents or war zones.

"We want to focus on the continuum of care, not only basic research and development to identify a new drug that may be used to enhance bone healing after a fracture or muscle regeneration after injury, but all the way to rehabilitation," said Mark Hamrick, PhD, GHSU bone biologist and research development director for the new institute.

GHSU has provided $750,000 for the institute's start-up and has nearly $20 million in existing external funding from groups such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Defense to support these research areas.

"We already have molecules we can mix with a piece of bone we take out of your mouth to stimulate bone to grow more quickly," said Connie Drisko, DDS, dean of the GHSU College of Dental Medicine, in a press release. "I think at some point you will have the ability to regrow your own natural bone, your own teeth, your own tissue, including periodontal ligaments to hold your teeth into the bone. All that science is emerging, and we have to be a part of that."

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