ICVBM and VC-CAST to Partner with R.L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
(Center Spotlight - IUPUI Research Enterprise,
Dec. 17th, 2008)
The IUPUI Vascular and Cardiac Center for Adult Stem Cell Therapy (VC-CAST) will partner with Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center to establish a program for adult stem cell research and patient trials at the Indianapolis VA Medical Center. The VC-CAST, an important example of translational research on the IUPUI campus, was established in 2008 as an IUPUI Signature Center, itself representing a partnership among the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine, the Krannert Institute of Cardiology, and the campus.
According to Dr. Keith March, director of VC-CAST, "this joint research initiative has two key components: a program with investigators conducting laboratory work relating particularly to blood vessels and adult stem cells; and a program oriented to facilitating access of veterans throughout the country to participation in cell therapy studies as they are developed to treat various diseases."
Thomas Mattice, Director of the Indianapolis VA Medical Center, expressed enthusiastic support for the center. "This type of research holds great promise for our veteran patients, and fits squarely into the research mission of the VA. Typical of the research conducted within the VA, this research spans the spectrum from basic clinical science conducted in the laboratory to the application of that science to treat diseases."
Critical patient needs under consideration for early trial development include peripheral vascular disease causing either threatened amputation or severe leg pain with walking, stroke, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, wounds or ulcers, and emphysema - among others.
IUPUI Signature Center formed focusing on Vascular and Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Therapy: VC-CAST
(IUSM- February, 2008)
The Vascular and Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Therapy Center has been launched as one of the Indiana University Signature Centers. This Center was initiated as a partnership of the ICVBM with the Krannert Institute of Cardiology and the IUPUI campus. This center will conduct multidisciplinary research aimed at repairing and enhancing the function of cardiovascular tissues. Translation of adult stem cell research findings to diseases of the cardiac and vascular systems will allow researchers in this center to explore novel approaches to repairing cardiac and vascular damage and improving the function of the vascular system. The unique collaborative expertise of both basic and clinical scientists gathered together in this center will allow the rapid translation of advances in adult stem cell research to clinical trials of new therapies.
The Signature Center initiative is intended by IUPUI to identify truly special "Signature" efforts of the IUPUI campus, "taking IUPUI's research to a much higher level by helping to create a significant number of Signature Centers which will stand out like skyscrapers over the surrounding landscape," in the words of Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties Uday Sukhatme.
A Perfect Match
When an IU professor's research meets a donor's commitment
Each year, thousands of Americans lose limbs due to severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and Dr. Michael Murphy at the Indiana University School of Medicine is working to change that.
Murphy, an assistant professor at the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine, is the only physician in the U.S. conducting an FDA-approved clinical trial using adult stem cell injections to treat patients with PAD-related leg pain and foot ulcers. Murphy's goal is to reduce the need for leg amputation by treating these patients with injections of their own stem cells.
Six thousand miles away in Iraq, Tim Howey has been following Murphy's groundbreaking research with keen interest. Howey, an IU alumnus and civilian employee for a U.S. contractor, recently gave a $50,000 gift to support ICVBM research. The Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation in Nashville, Indiana, matched Howey's gift.
Howey has a deep commitment to helping Murphy lessen the devastating effects of PAD.
"My mother died from heart and renal failure caused by diabetes," he says. "I decided that vascular and heart disease research projects would contribute to the fight against diabetes. My will is set up to donate my entire estate to the Indiana University School of Medicine in care of the IU Foundation upon my passing."
Reasons for Optimism
Fifty percent of patients treated in the PAD study are pain free and not facing amputation. Murphy is optimistic.
"Annually, 30,000 to 50,000 people in this country lose a limb due to PAD. We are hopeful that stem cell therapy may be a way to treat these patients."
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