Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
The Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine focuses on research and education initiatives to prevent and combat tissue inflammation, trauma, and loss associated with complications of metabolic syndrome. The center will produce clinically relevant stem cells and biomaterial scaffolds to generate useful cell and tissue-based therapies that can combat the loss of healthy tissue associated with chronic diseases. The collaboration between LSUHSC-S and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston spans the I-20 corridor and will utilize the expertise of the region to tackle a growing chronic disease epidemic affecting parishes across the state. A combination of basic science, biomedical engineering, and clinical expertise will allow the Center to address health issues from complimentary perspectives and offer an environment that trains future scientists, engineers, and clinicians for careers in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.
The rate of chronic diseases in Louisiana are is well above the national average putting significant burden on our healthcare system. These rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes all have links to obesity. Obesity affects over 35 percent of the adult population in Louisiana, ranking us fifth in the US, with this rate only increasing (having doubled in the last 20 years). Obesity contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome which is a concurring set of conditions that includes high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. While there are some genetic/epigenetic links to metabolic syndrome, it is mostly the result of poor diet, weight, and lifestyle choices (e.g. lack of exercise, excess drinking). Ultimately these conditions lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, kidney disease, and neuropathy all of which have their own set of health problems. A significant portion of Louisiana residents suffer from the complications associated with metabolic syndrome.
Specifically in North Louisiana, the parishes along the I-20 corridor consistently indicate 35-45 percent of the adult population as obese with the trend only increasing over the past 10 years. Based on these numbers, there is a community of obese Louisiana residents who are suffering from the complications associated with metabolic syndrome. In addition, there is a large population of overweight children and adolescents, a number that puts Louisiana 8th in the US for both categories. Although diet and exercise and can lower these numbers before adulthood, these children also stand to suffer the consequences of metabolic syndrome as they age.
Louisiana’s rate of chronic diseases: coronary heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is well above the national average. Chronic diseases have links to metabolic syndrome/obesity, and therefore as our obesity rates continue to increase so will the rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Goals for the Center include:
- Establish an integrated core of clinicians and researchers focused on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (could link to faculty/student/staff page)
- Promote research and tools in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine (could link to research project page)
- Promote education in stem cells, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine ( could link to resource page)
- Work closely with community partners to address needs to patients suffering from symptoms of metabolic syndrome and/or tissue injury and effectively communicate research to the community (could link to resource page)