In January of 2016, the St. Louis Shriners Hospital will launch our new research partnership with Washington University School of Medicine. Our efforts will focus on regenerative medicine – finding new ways through technology and therapies to help our patients grow new bone and cartilage.
Regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering, is considered by many to be the future of healing. It can range from using a patient’s own stem cells to “edit out” diseases to improving the material properties of bone and tissue growth.
Acclaimed scientist Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., will lead the new center. Dr. Guilak is most recently the vice-chair and director of orthopaedic research at Duke University and Laszlo Ormandy professor of orthopaedic surgery. His research has focused on the study of osteoarthritis, a painful and debilitating disease of the synovial joints. His lab has used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the role of biomechanical factors in the onset and progression of osteoarthritis, as well as the development of new pharmacologic and stem-cell therapies for the disease.
Dr. Guilak has published more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has co-edited three books – Cell Mechanics and Cellular Engineering, Functional Tissue Engineering and Computational Modeling in Biomechanics. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomechanics, associate editor for Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and serves on the editorial boards of eight journals.
He will work closely with world-renowned physician scientist Dr. Michael Whyte who heads The Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research, which investigates and treats more than 100 rare bone diseases.
A full third of the hospital’s square footage is now dedicated to research, with the addition of this new partnership. Along with the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research, it is expected to propel the St. Louis Shriners Hospital into the ranks of the top research facilities in the country.
Since the early 1920s, Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis has had a close clinical and research partnership with Washington University School of Medicine. By collaborating with the school in this new “bench to bedside” research center, our relationship is even further strengthened, which will result in more effective and cutting-edge care for our patients.