Advancing the Science

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April 21, 2021

A new class of regenerative scientists

By Susan Buckles

Mayo Clinic has achieved an important milestone in its mission to provide first-of-its-kind, rigorous education in the field of regenerative science and medicine. Five students have been selected as the inaugural scholars in the newly established Regenerative Sciences Track within the Ph.D. Program of the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine is a leader in developing educational, patient-oriented, curricula across the spectrum of regenerative sciences. That is integral to its objective of training the future regenerative workforce and delivering new cures to the practice in alignment with Mayo Clinic's 2030 Vision. The rollout of a dedicated Regenerative Sciences Ph.D. track builds on ongoing educational synergy with Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

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Isobel Scarisbrick, Ph.D.

"Enrolling the first students in the Regenerative Sciences Ph.D. track reflects years of hard work and fulfills the vision of Mayo Clinic and the Center for Regenerative Medicine to develop the next generation of leaders in regenerative science and medicine. Moreover, the entering students further Mayo Clinic's goal of being a destination of excellence in educating a diverse biomedical research workforce," says Isobel Scarisbrick, Ph.D., director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine's Regenerative Sciences Education program.

Taught by regenerative science and medicine experts, the curriculum will embrace a training paradigm that includes fundamental cellular and molecular science principles, and transdisciplinary education in regulatory issues, quality control, bio-business and entrepreneurial pathways, data science, medical sciences, ethics and emerging technologies.

Following a rigorous selection process, the students were recruited from a competitive field of applicants worldwide. They were chosen in part for their interest in regenerative sciences as a long-term career and their commitment to advancing new regenerative solutions that address unmet patient needs.

"The inaugural Regenerative Sciences Ph.D. class is not only of outstanding caliber, but also diverse in their interests and cultural backgrounds. They may provide a voice for underserved communities that are often left out of the latest innovations in medicine," says Dr. Scarisbrick. "Their multidimensional perspectives and interests will foster the unique insights needed to investigate and discover regenerative solutions for diverse communities."

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Nathaniel Blackwell

Inaugural members of the Regenerative Sciences Ph.D. track are:


Nathaniel Blackwell

Blackwell is a Missouri University of Science & Technology student and business co-owner who is developing a scar healing product out of bioactive glass. Researchers have investigated bioglass for possible use as an implant device the body to repair or replace diseased or damaged bones. Blackwell's area of interest is tissue engineering research with a focus on evaluating bioactive glass and 3D-printed organoid systems.


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Samuel Buchl


Samuel Buchl

Buchl is a postbaccalaureate student at Mayo Clinic whose research focuses on genes involved in procollagen trafficking and liver pathophysiology. His research interest is neural injury and repair. He hopes to apply learnings from liver regeneration and its strong potential for healing to the central nervous system where regeneration is not understood as well.

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Shan Gao


Shan Gao

Gao is a researcher at University of Alabama School of Medicine whose area of study is lung development and regeneration. She aspires to use stem cells and genetics to develop new regenerative therapies. Gao brings experience from an internship at the National Gerontology Center in Beijing, where she conducted research on multiple gene detection of Alzheimer's disease. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in biotechnology.


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Delaney Liskey


Delaney Liskey

Liskey is a second-year Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program scholar at Mayo Clinic. She is a member of the Neurorehabilitation Laboratory in the Center for Regenerative Medicine, where she investigates cellular mechanisms of central nervous system repair. Liskey is also a member of the Microbiome Laboratory in the Center for Individualized Medicine and studies microbial signatures in gynecological cancer. She brings experience from her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, where she investigated the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis.



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Daniela Maltais

Daniela Maltais

Maltais is a second-year Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program scholar at Mayo Clinic. Her research projects involve studying small cell lung cancer and neuroinflammatory mechanisms of treatment-resistant depression. Maltais' research interests include neuroregeneration and wound healing for skin diseases.


Classes begin in 2021

The new students will begin their classes in the fall. The first regenerative sciences doctoral degrees will be awarded in 2026.

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This article originally appeared on the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine blog.

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Tags: Center for Regenerative Medicine, Education, Isobel Scarisbrick, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, News, People, republished, research education

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