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Nov 21, 2017 · Regenerative Cardiac Synchronization


A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, most often by a build-up of fat, cholesterol and other substances, which form a plaque in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries). The interrupted blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. Satsuki Yamada, M.D., Ph.D., a recent recipient of a Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Translational Research Grant, is investigating the use of patient’s own stem cells as a new therapy to help reestablish and maintain a synchronized pumping motion in the infarcted heart.

Dr. Yamada is an assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic. Her study seeks to develop a regenerative therapy to correct disrupted wall motion (“cardiac dyssynchrony”) after a heart attack. Under conditions replicating patient management of this resilient disorder, the safety and efficacy of a new class of patient-derived stem cells delivered into diseased heart regions will be tested by a multidisciplinary team. Successful outcome will provide the foundation for first-in-human studies targeting heart muscle synchronization in refractory heart failure.

Learn more about Dr. Yamada’s research:


This article was original published on the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine’s blog.

Nov 9, 2017 · Regenerative Therapy for Pulmonary Hypoplasia

Rodrigo Ruano, M.D.

When a baby’s lungs are not adequately developed at birth, severe complications and even death can result. Rodrigo Ruano, M.D., Ph.D.,  a recent Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Translational Research Grant recipient, brings expertise in a technique that uses a minimally invasive procedure to intervene while the fetus is still in the uterus. He will participate as one investigator in a larger clinical trial to see if this procedure can regenerate the process of lung growth and development before birth.

Dr. Ruano is the Director of Mayo Clinic’s Fetal Diagnostic and Intervention Center and  the division chair of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He has been the recipient of a number of awards and grants, and is an internationally renowned expert in fetal surgery.

Learn more about Dr. Ruano’s research:


This article was original published on the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine’s blog.

Sep 28, 2017 · Bridge to Liver Regeneration: Scott Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D.

The research of Scott Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic liver transplant surgeon and biomedical engineer, is focusedon the development of a multidisciplinary bioartificial liver to improve the treatment of patients with liver failure.

The bioartificial liver is an important supportive therapy to bridge patients in liver failure to liver transplantation, or to avoid liver transplantation when spontaneous recovery is possible.

Learn more about Dr. Nyberg’s research in the video below:

Dr. Nyberg’s initial results from the first year of research funded by the Regenerative Medicine Minnesota initiative have shown that the bioartificial liver can improve survival in an animal model. Study data has been presented at several professional meetings. He plans to continue his research, and preliminary steps are being taken to test the device under FDA oversight with the goal of moving the technology into the clinic. View Dr. Nyberg’s progress video.

For more information on liver regeneration, visit the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine website.

Sep 5, 2017 · Regenerative Diabetes Conference on Islet Regeneration and Replacement: Sept. 29-30

Registration is now open for the Mayo Clinic Regenerative Diabetes International Conference on Islet Regeneration and Replacement. The conference will take place Sept. 29-30, 2017 in Rochester, Minn. Registration is free, but seating is limited.

The Mayo Clinic Regenerative Diabetes International Conference on Islet Regeneration and Replacement brings together academia and industry leaders from diverse areas of islet regenerative research.

The conference is designed for basic and translational researchers, clinicians, and representatives from funding and regulatory agencies.  More than 20 speakers will present on a range of topics on regenerative medicine and stem cell therapeutics for Diabetes Mellitus. See the agenda for a complete list of speakers and topics.

Mayo Clinic Regenerative Diabetes International Conference on Islet Regeneration and Replacement
Friday, Sept. 29, 1-6 p.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 30, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. CT

Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minn
Gonda Building, Subway Level
Geffen Auditorium

View the agenda and register here.  For more information, contact the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine.


Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. This article was originally featured on the Center for Regenerative Medicine blog.

Aug 15, 2017 · DOWN TO THE ROOTS--Persistence powers Mayo Clinic's approach to adult-derived stem cell therapies

Dr. Dietz joined Mayo Clinic in 1996 and has been a driving force behind the research into medical treatments using cell-based technologies, including adult-derived stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells.

Allan B. Dietz, Ph.D., never intended to be a scientist.

His plan was to be a farmer, just like his father, grandfather and all the other Dietzes he knew.

“I was going to be a farmer at first. Then I was going to be a veterinarian because that’s what farm kids who like science did,” Dr. Dietz says.

But the rural Iowa boy’s plans quickly changed when he lost interest in agriculture right about the time he entered the doctorate program for genetics in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

“I liked the science so much I decided to just do the science,” he said.


Dr. Dietz joined Mayo Clinic in 1996 and has been a driving force behind the research into medical treatments using cell-based technologies, including adult-derived stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Dietz is the director of the Human Cell Therapy Laboratory. The lab develops cellular therapies to treat a variety of conditions.

There are versions of the lab at all three Mayo Clinic campuses with support from the Center for Regenerative Medicine. When a physician-scientist explores if stem cells or other cellular therapies could be an option for a patient’s disease or condition, he or she works with Dr. Dietz’s team to develop the protocol and cellular product.

This readily available expert support reduces the time it takes to move research from the initial concept to the actual creation of a product that can be tested.

“This is not a solo effort,” Dr. Dietz says. “I really believe that I have the most caring, hardworking team of physicians, scientists and support staff ever assembled. I am humbled daily by the opportunity to work with them.”

Without the lab, physicians could spend years gaining the expertise in stem cells as well as necessary Food and Drug Administration approvals to move into clinical trials. With assistance from Dr. Dietz’s lab, that time can be cut significantly — to less than a year in some cases.

“Dr. Dietz provided invaluable leadership in guiding us through the very complicated path of obtaining FDA approval for our first stem cell trials. Without Dr. Dietz, these trials would not have been possible,” says neurologist Anthony J. Windebank, M.D. “He has endless enthusiasm and a very practical approach to getting things done efficiently.”

That practical approach began when Dr. Dietz was a boy.

“My ability to solve problems and my work ethic come from growing up on a farm,” Dr. Dietz says. “On a farm, you’re almost always limited in resources. So your first response to any problem is, ‘How can I solve it with the things I have?'”


At the time he was recruited to work at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, there was no regenerative medicine field as it is thought of today.

The laboratory’s history is rooted in transfusion medicine — the act of collecting and testing blood to be given to patients at Mayo Clinic. In the history of blood banking, researchers found it to be a powerful tool for healing. “When you differentiate blood, cut it into different pieces, such as platelets, packed red blood cells or plasma, you have more treatment options,” explains Dr. Dietz.

“The body has tissues with powerful healing properties, and we just need to figure out how to tease them out.”

Recognizing the potential, Mayo Clinic sought a scientist who could take this research to the next logical extension and explore other opportunities for treatments created from human cells.

The field was so new and unexplored that Mayo Clinic did not even know how to advertise the position, but as luck would have it, there were a few researchers in transfusion medicine who knew a scientist known for taking on challenging puzzles. That scientist was Dr. Dietz.


Dr. Dietz started his work on cancer vaccines with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and after developing one approach, he spoke to his division leader at the time, S. Breanndan Moore, M.D., to find out what he thought his next project should be.

“Dr. Moore said, ‘Why are you asking me? You’ll know,'” Dr. Dietz recalls.

As it turns out, he did.

Dr. Dietz was inspired by a single case study reported in literature of mesenchymal stem cells dramatically reducing one patient’s inflammatory response to graft-versus-host disease, which is often fatal.

“That was all I needed as a flag to go: ‘That’s the new thing we’re going to work on!'”

What came next was a six-year odyssey to do all the background scientific work to develop these cells as a powerful drug platform. Collaborating with Dr. Windebank, who was working with patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — Dr. Dietz realized that these cells could be a “last great hope” for these patients.


But it was not until the disease hit close to home that Dr. Dietz really understood what these patients and their families were facing.

As his team worked toward a clinical trial, Dr. Dietz was called into the office of Dr. Moore.

“He was a great practical joker, so he sat me down and asked, ‘How’s that ALS trial?’ and after being reassured that it was going well, he asked, ‘Do you think I’ll be eligible for it?’ At first, I thought he was joking, but he had been diagnosed recently with ALS.”

Dr. Dietz and his team applied to do a one patient trial so that they could bring the treatment more quickly to their friend and colleague.

“He didn’t want us to do anything to compromise the integrity of what we were doing, but we framed it as fast as we possibly could,” Dr. Dietz says.

The day they got the permission to run the single-patient trial, Dr. Dietz called Dr. Moore to share the good news. It was too late.

“He had been moved to hospice that morning,” Dr. Dietz says, his voice cracking. “So, Breanndan missed it.”

Devastated by the loss of his mentor, colleague and friend in 2009, Dr. Dietz and his team continued to plug away at the problem. This radical approach to treating patients rarely found support by traditional funding sources.


While the Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and the Center for Regenerative Medicine provided financial help for the Human Cell Therapy Laboratory, critical funding has come from benefactors. Dr. Dietz and the lab have done the heavy lifting needed to develop multiple cell-based treatments. This development work is amplified as this new important class of cellular drugs gets into the hands of physicians. The combination of the Human Cell Therapy Laboratory developing these drugs and clinical experts using these drugs supported by like-minded donors is a powerful combination.

“There isn’t anybody who’s not touched by one of these terrible diseases, and we started out purposely picking really tough ones like brain cancer, ALS, multiple system atrophy and wounds that won’t heal, because there is nothing else for these patients,” Dr. Dietz says. “It is a gigantic unmet need.”

And Dr. Dietz’s stubborn work ethic propels him to meet those needs for patients.

“Science is very much like a farm: an endless amount of work and a new flavor of problems every day,” Dr. Dietz says. “It is up to us to figure it out.”


Stem cells are “master cells” and can be “guided to become many other cell types. Here are several ways stem cells can be used in patient care.

Blood and bone marrow stem cell treatments/transplants

Healthy stem cells are injected into the body to produce new blood. Stem cells may be from the patient’s own body, a donor or from umbilical cord blood.

Regenerative cellular therapies

Stem cells have the potential to rebuild healthy tissues, potentially helping people with heart disease, ALS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and more.

Cells as drugs

Stem cells can be used to influence other cells. For example, stem cells can be injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling, or into soft tissue to promote healing.

Testing of new drugs for safety and effectiveness

Quality and safety of investigational drugs could be tested on stem cells that have been transformed into tissue-specific cells. Researchers can monitor for side effects in the cells from the drug before exposing a patient to it.


Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. This article was originally featured on the philanthropic site “You Are…the campaign for Mayo Clinic.”

Oct 3, 2013 · World’s First Phase III Trial for Pre-Programmed Cellular Therapy Uses Technology Developed at Mayo

The Belgian biotechnology company, Cardio3 BioSciences recently announced its authorization to begin the world’s first phase III clinical trial in regenerative medicine for heart failure in Spain. Spain is the sixth country to have authorized this unique study after the United Kingdom, Belgium, Israel, Serbia and Hungary.

The multicenter, phase III trial will evaluate efficacy and safety of a breakthrough process developed at Mayo Clinic which uses stem cells harvested from a patient’s bone marrow. The stem cells undergo a conditioning treatment that optimizes their repair capacity in heart failure. The treated cells are then injected into the patient’s heart in an effort to restore health in patients suffering from end-stage heart failure.

Read more about this technology and the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine here:

Apr 16, 2013 · Mayo Clinic to co-host 2013 World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego

On the heels of a major advancement in the field of regenerative medicine, Mayo Clinic and others continue to look to the future and the potential of regenerative medicine. Today, Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) announced details of the 9th annual World Stem Cell Summit — the largest and most comprehensive multi-track interdisciplinary stem cell conference aimed at uniting the global stem cell community and accelerating cures.

Mayo Clinic, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have joined GPI to organize the summit which will be held at the Hilton Bayside San Diego, December 4-6, 2013.

“The summit is a great opportunity for the community of regenerative medicine to gather and share the advances of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and surgery today,” says Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Visit the 2013 World Stem Cell Summit website to learn more, and check out some highlights of Mayo Clinic at the 2012 summit here:

Jan 6, 2012 · Rochester Healthy Community Partnership

Mayo Clinic, Rochester Public Schools’ Hawthorne Education Center, Winona State University and various community agencies are working together to identify opportunities to improve the health of immigrant and refugee families in  Rochester.

To support this partnership and research, the National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant to Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, a collaboration that includes community-based organizations, local health service organizations and academic institutions.  The partnership will develop exercise and nutrition programs with immigrant and refugee families. The project is called, “Healthy Immigrant Families: Working Together To Move More and To Eat Well.”

View the report on KAAL TV:

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