Bacardis Make Gift to Significantly Advance Mayo Clinic’s Regenerative Medicine Research

Posted: July 30, 2014 at 2:50 am

Released: 29-Jul-2014 8:00 AM EDT Source Newsroom: Mayo Clinic Contact Information

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Newswise JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Imagine a future in which a new lung is grown for a patient in need, using the patients own cellular material, or a day when an injection of replacement cells will enable a patient to self-heal damage in the brain, nerves or other tissues.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Keller and Jorge Bacardi talking about the gift and regenerative medicine, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Regenerative medicine is no longer science fiction, and a substantial gift from Jorge and Leslie Bacardi of the Bahamas will significantly accelerate the research of Mayo Clinics Center for Regenerative Medicine on the Florida campus.

Jorge Bacardi, whose family has manufactured rum and other spirits for 150 years, suffered since childhood with primary ciliary dyskinesia, a debilitating lung disease that nearly ended his life. A double lung transplant at Mayos Florida campus in 2008 enabled him to take his first full breath of air at age 64.

Regenerative medicine is an extraordinary step in the evolution of mankind, says Jorge Bacardi. It is for Leslie and I a great honor to be able to join Mayo Clinic in the development of such an advancement in the medical field."

Regenerative medicine is addressing the root causes of disease and disability by developing ways to rejuvenate the body using its natural self-healing processes; replace damaged cells with healthy ones derived from the patient (avoiding immune system rejection); and regenerate function by applying specific cells or cell products.

Mayos regenerative medicine researchers are targeting conditions throughout the body, including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers disease and traumatic injuries that affect combat veterans. Some studies are in the earliest stages. Others are in clinical trials with patients.

Researchers now can differentiate stem cells into skin, brain, lung and many other types of cells. For example, a patient's own skin cells may be collected, reprogrammed in a laboratory to give them certain characteristics, and then delivered back to the patient to treat diseases at various places within the body.

Bacardis Make Gift to Significantly Advance Mayo Clinic's Regenerative Medicine Research

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