Overview

The History of Regenerative Medicine

MENDING A BROKEN HEART

The world’s first heart valve surgery is performed at then Peter Bent Brigham Hospital by Dr. Elliot Cutler.

LUNGS OF STEEL

The first polio victim is saved using the newly developed Drinker Respirator (iron lung) at the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital.

LIFE IN A TEST TUBE

Researcher John Rock and Miriam Menkin successfully fertilize a human ovum in a test tube at the Free Hospital for women.

INNOVATION

After receiving a set of blueprints for the Kolff hemodialysis machine, George Thorn improves upon the design and creates the next generation of Kolff’s dialyzer, a stainless steel “Kolff-Brigham” dialysis machine.

BANKING ON BLOOD

Carl Walter, MD, invents and perfects a method to collect, store and transfuse blood.

WORLD’S FIRST SUCCESSFUL ORGAN TRANSPLANT

Dr. Joseph Murray performs the world’s first successful organ transplant – a kidney transplanted from one identical twin to another.

A SHOCK TO THE HEART

A DC electric current is first used to restore normal rhythm to a heard at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital by Dr. Bernard Lown.

THE FIRST HEARTBEATS

Non-invasive fetal heart monitoring is developed, enabling clinicians to more safely and accurately detect fetal distress during labor at the Boston Hospital for Women.

FROM ONE HEART TO ANOTHER

The first heart transplant in New England is performed at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A NOBEL IDEA

Dr. Joseph Murray received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering kidney transplant (1954) as well as his subsequent development of immunosuppressive drugs.

THE BEAT GOES ON

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is one of the busiest cardiac transplantation centers in New England. In 2011, BWH performs its 600th heart transplant.

A NEW FACE

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac leads a team of surgeons to perform the nation’s first three full face transplants.

Our Research

The BWH Regenerative Medicine Center aims to integrate the talents of engineers, physicists and mathematicians with those of biologists and clinicians. In fact, this marriage of stem cell biology with state-of-the-art engineering and nanotechnology is what makes this center unique among its competitors.

 

BWH has assembled a critical mass of scientists to collaboratively build on recent developments in genomics, proteomics, stem cell biology, metabolic engineering, tissue (regenerative) engineering and microsystem fabrication. These scientists make up the core of the Regenerative Medicine Center. Our investigators are involved in innovative studies to enhance prevention of a wide range of disorders, develop and implement novel targeted therapies, and improve existing treatments. Pivotal research advances by BWH investigators which have impacted the understanding of disease and treatment of patients include:

 

  • Growth of cartilage using a polymer base

 

  • Identification of novel way to make patient specific embryonic stem cells using unfertilized eggs in a pre-clinical model, which can then be transplanted back without immune rejection

 

  • Development of a strategy for generating cross-linked hydrogel microstructures (water-soluble, natural polymers) that can be controlled in shape and size for use in drug delivery and tissue engineering

 

 

 

Our Departmental Affiliates

The BWH Regenerative Medicine Center supports transformative interdisciplinary research, engaging the talent and resources of a diverse group of investigators. Research is conducted by physicians and scientists spanning the departments of Medicine, Anesthesia, Neurology, Pathology, Dermatology, Surgery, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

 

 

 

Our Investigators

BWH investigators are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions to advances in stem cell, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering research as recipients of prestigious awards, including elected members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Kuwait Prize for Sciences, the Bywaters Award from the International Society of Nephrology, the James Barrett Brown Award of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the William Dameshek Prize of the American Society of Hematology. Additionally BWH investigators hold specialized grants to conduct interdisciplinary research, including an NIH U54 research grant called SysCODE: Systems-based Consortium for Organ Design and Engineering.

 

 

Learn More

For more information about the Regenerative Medicine Center, email bwhbri@partners.org.

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