The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., have signed an agreement to form the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest Center for Veterinary Regenerative Medicine (CVRM).
The agreement, which was announced today, facilitates the application of cutting-edge regenerative treatments to both human and animal patients, according to the two groups.
As part of the collaboration, clients at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital may have the option to enter their pets into clinical trials, giving them access to cutting edge technology unavailable elsewhere, the vet college noted.
In return, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine will have the ability to evaluate new regenerative medicine techniques in spontaneously occurring animal diseases that can be models for human disease.
“The CVRM is a tremendous opportunity to provide new medical alternatives for animals, including loved household pets, while generating scientific knowledge that can save and transform human lives,” said Roger Avery, senior associate dean of research and graduate studies at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Chronic kidney disease in cats is one area of current research interest. It is being treated in an effort to induce kidney regeneration and restore renal function.
A stem cell approach is also being applied to dogs with spay-induced incontinence. Muscle stem cells, placed into the neck of the dog’s bladder, may help to strengthen the bladder muscle and cure the condition, according to the vet college.
Other collaborative projects involving canine and bovine induced pluripotentent cells, rapid pathogen detection, wound healing in horses and canine cardiomyopathy are said to be in start-up mode.
Willard H. Eyestone, research assistant professor of reproductive biology and biotechnology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, will act as lead faculty member at the veterinary college and the liaison to Wake Forest in the collaboration.
Dr. J. Koudy Williams, professor of pathology and surgical sciences at Wake Forest, will serve as the lead faculty member from the institute.
Virginia Tech/Wake Forest Center for Veterinary Regenerative Medicine founding faculty members from the veterinary college also include Dr. Gregory Daniel, Dr. David Grant and Dr. Otto Lanz from the college’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Linda Dahlgren, from the college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, and Dr. Jennifer Barrett, from the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, are conducting regenerative research in equine patients.