IU School of Medicine to spend $20M to launch regenerative medicine center

Indiana University School of Medicine is setting up a new center with the ambitious goal of repairing and replacing tissue and organs damaged by age, disease or trauma.

The school announced Wednesday it will spend $20 million over the next five years to establish the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering, which aims to develop new therapies for diabetic complications and combat injuries, and could even regrow damaged and diseased tissue.

The center will be led by Chandan Sen, who was recruited from Ohio State University. He will bring more than $10 million in research grants and a team of more than 30 scientists and staff.

“The potential of regenerative medicine is tremendous, and in Chandan Sen we will have one of the country’s most accomplished and innovative researchers leading our program,” said Jay L. Hess, dean of the IU School of Medicine.

Sen also will serve as executive director of the IU Health Comprehensive Wound Center, a clinical program that will be linked to the new center.

His team has already developed a non-invasive nanochip device that uses technology called tissue nanotransfection to reprogram one type of tissue into another with a touch and electric spark that is harmless to the body, the medical school said. In laboratory studies, the group was able to convert skin tissue in mice into functional blood vessels that were used to repair a badly injured leg.

Sen will collaborate with Indianapolis-based Cook Regentec and West Lafayette-based Cook Biotech.

The center will use 11,000 square feet of renovated space in the Medical Research & Library building on the medical school’s campus west of downtown.

In addition, the center will also have space in the new 16 Tech innovative community planned for the west side of Indianapolis.

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