Challenging regeneration to transform medicine

Ann Tsukamoto, Stewart E. Abbot, Lisa C. Kadyk, Natalie D. Dewitt, David V. Schaffer, Jason A. Wertheim, Kevin J. Whittlesey, Michael J. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The aging population in the U.S. and other developed countries has led to a large increase in the number of patients suffering from degenerative diseases. Transplantation surgery has been a successful therapeutic option for certain patients; however, the availability of suitable donor organs and tissues significantly limits the number of patients who can benefit from this approach. Regenerative medicine has witnessed numerous recent and spectacular advances, making the repair or replacement of dysfunctional organs and tissues an achievable goal. Public-private partnerships and government policies and incentives would further catalyze the development of universally available donor tissues, resulting in broad medical and economic benefits. This article describes a Regenerative Medicine Grand Challenge that the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine recently shared with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy in response to a White House call to action in scientific disciplines suggesting that the development of “universal donor tissues” should be designated as a Regenerative Medicine Grand Challenge. Such a designation would raise national awareness of the potential of regenerative medicine to address the unmet needs of many diseases and would stimulate the scientific partnerships and investments in technology needed to expedite this goal. Here we outline key policy changes and technological challenges that must be addressed to achieve the promise of a major breakthrough in the treatment of degenerative disease. A nationalized effort and commitment to develop universal donor tissues could realize this goal within 10 years and along the way result in significant innovation in manufacturing technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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