Regenerative medicine includes research into the uses of adult stem cells, which can be reprogrammed into embryonic-like stem cells and then differentiated into virtually any cell type in the body. These core tools are referred to as induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). The long-term goal is to return iPSC-derived adult stem cells to the patient from whom they were derived. Other research includes production and manipulation of key proteins in the body to fight or correct disease; and the alteration of a patient’s own CAR-T cells for immunotherapy to combat cancer.
The Gates Center is a research center on the Anschutz Medical
Campus and does not provide direct patient care. Our colleagues at CU Anschutz
and nearby facilities provide direct patient care at UCHealth’s University of
Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Veterans Affairs
Medical Center of Aurora.
While the promise of widespread stem cell and regenerative medicine treatments in humans is quite encouraging, prospective patients should be discerning customers when considering current claims about stem cells. The federal Food and Drug Administration has regulatory authority over many medical treatments and advertising claims, and the FDA’s very good explanatory web site has this to say: “Some unscrupulous providers offer stem cell products that are both unapproved and unproven. So beware of potentially dangerous procedures—and confirm what’s really being offered before you consider any treatment.”
Stem cells for blood regeneration, produced from cord blood, are approved and used frequently by medical professionals in treating certain cancers and bone marrow diseases.
Other commonly advertised uses of stem cells, such as injections into joints, the eyes or the spine, have not been proven by gold-standard clinical trials and are increasingly being policed with a critical eye by the FDA.
We at the Gates Center are committed to speeding treatments toward patient care as quickly as we can, but we are just as committed to the scientific method and patient safety. Our own research holds tremendous promise for near-term clinical trials in stem cells and regenerative medicine concepts, but we will never sacrifice safety and good science for overzealous marketing. We encourage you to research respected resources such as these:
No. Gates Center research is focused on the potential of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and does not involve the use of human embryos that has proven so controversial in the past. iPSC technology holds several advantages over earlier stem cell research, such as the fact that many regenerative concepts are based on “autologous” treatment, meaning a patient’s own cells are extracted, altered for potency and effectiveness, and reintroduced to the same patient. Pluripotent cells can also become multiple forms of tissue when reprogrammed, allowing for a single cell line to be used for anything from heart tissue to insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Employing a patient’s own cells also limits the possibility of the body rejecting a treatment as foreign.
The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine acts as a
convener, an educator and a shepherd of the most promising research in stem
cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our mission is to support brilliant
researchers and clinicians in order to accelerate their discoveries from the
lab through clinical trials to therapies and cures. Our shorthand for this is
“bench to bedside.”
Research scientists are expert at making discoveries, but are
rarely trained during their extensive post-graduate years in the more practical
aspects of legally claiming a discovery, creating a business model to fund
further research, navigating the thicket of regulatory challenges, or
manufacturing materials for clinical trials. The Gates Center provides the
latest tools for its membership, from finance to the factory floor, to fulfill
the goal of bringing real help to patients.
Our mission also extends to educating the next generation of
great researchers through internship programs and graduate courses. We also
join our colleagues on the Anschutz Medical Campus in spotlighting the
unparalleled advantages of Colorado in recruiting regenerative medicine
researchers from around the nation.
The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine was established in 2006 with a gift in memory of Denver industrialist and philanthropist Charles C. Gates, who was captivated by the hope and benefit stem cell research promised for so many people in the world. The Gates Center aspires to honor what he envisioned—by doing everything possible to support the collaboration between basic scientific researchers and clinical faculty to transition scientific breakthroughs into clinical practice as quickly as possible.
Our members have been involved in clinical trials in numerous fields, and Gates Center researchers are nearing human clinical trial stages in debilitating skin diseases, preventing surgical inflammation and chronic wound infections.
The Gates Center has been the recipient of many generous donations of all sizes to support its research into regenerative medicine for human treatments. Many of our donors have been motivated by a personal or family experience with a debilitating disease or condition still in search of effective treatment -- the entire mission of Gates is to speed research toward real patient benefit. If you would like to consider a donation, please contact Michael Tortoro at 303-724-7618 or Michael.Tortoro@cuanschutz.edu or visit giving.cu.edu/gatescenter. If you are part of a group that would benefit from a tour of or presentation about the Gates research facilities and the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility, please contact Jill Cowperthwaite at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303 724-6143.
The Gates Biomanufacturing Facility is an integral partner of
the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, filling an enormous need for leading
edge, safe manufacturing practices for products involved in human treatment,
right here in Colorado. Our members work collaboratively with the GBF and its
expert staff on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for research projects that
will lead to human clinical trials and commercialization of revolutionary