Equine Researchers work with Regenerative Medicine Center

One project will explore regenerative techniques to restore laryngeal function in horses, people, and dogs.

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Bridging two leading health institutions, scientists and veterinarians at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine are partnering with renowned human medicine innovators at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburg, Pa., to further their shared quest—advancing healing techniques and technologies for animals and humans.

Several faculty in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine work to realize the potential of regenerative techniques—such as tissue engineering, cellular therapies, and artificial organ devices—in repairing damaged tissues and organs. The McGowan Institute is dedicated to the same goal. In this multifaceted collaboration, professionals from both institutions have begun exchanging research, techniques, and ideas to advance the science and application of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine across species.

“This is a natural partnership,” Jon Cheetham, VetMB, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, large animal surgeon and equine researcher in Cornell’s Department of Clinical Sciences. “We have expertise in pre-clinical animal models of human disease, and special resources for research—like looking at laryngeal function over time in horses on a treadmill or taking MRIs of the temporomandibular joint in pigs. We also have experts in developmental biology. That’s important because aspects of regenerative medicine attempt to mimic the early stages of development, when true regeneration, not just repair, can happen.”

Meanwhile, the McGowan Institute’s regenerative expertise has provided a rich opportunity for collaboration with members of the Veterinary College and a number of research partnerships between Cornell and McGowan have spawned shared grant funding. For example, Cheetham has just received a three-year National Institutes of Health award to explore new techniques targeted at improving nerve repair with co-investigators from the McGowan Institute

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