The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine is a world-class academic research consortium headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the largest health care center between Chicago, Texas, and the West Coast, serving an estimated 1,000,000 patients per year. Established in 2006 with a generous gift in memory of Denver industrialist and philanthropist Charles C. Gates, who foresaw stem cells’ infinite potential for so many people in the world, the Gates Center accelerates collaboration among medical researchers and clinicians to translate discovery into clinical practice as quickly as possible.
“Our 74 investigators are committed to research in regenerative medicine and gene therapy to solve the most challenging unmet medical needs of the future,” said Jill Cowperthwaite, director of marketing and external relations at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine. Operating as the only comprehensive Stem Cell Center within a 500-mile radius, the Gates Center is a multi-institutional consortium comprised of members from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus and Boulder campus, Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines. Research at the Gates Center focuses on investigating regenerative therapies and stem-cell treatments in the areas of dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, ophthalmology, neurology, oncology, and immunology.
In spring 2015, the Gates Center launched the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility in which future stem-cell and biologic therapies will be manufactured for human trials under the highest FDA standards. The only one of its kind within an 800-mile radius, the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility will enable the safe and expedited translation of discovery into human therapies for people worldwide.
“In comparison to pharmaceutical and biomedical research, regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies is a relatively new area of medical research,” explained Cowperthwaite. “Researchers must educate policymakers and the general public about the efficacy of the science and the need to establish laws, regulations and procedures that facilitate the timely review, approval and availability to patients of all the benefits and advantages this new field of medical research holds for the American public.”
Cowperthwaite sees two major challenges- federal funding and public policy, which can cause obstacles that inhibit the progress of research. “Creating better public understanding of the importance of research will ultimately result in sustainable funding and a better public policy environment in which research can thrive,” she said.
The Gates Center is partnering with research centers at other universities and with patient advocacy organizations to inform policymakers and the American public about the benefits of regenerative medicine and cell therapy research. Their efforts include direct engagement with congressional leaders and federal agencies, and presentations and educational materials to inform policy makers, opinion leaders and the general public.
“Through Research!America and its superb leadership and staff, the Gates Center has found collaborative partners with whom to have a national dialogue on medical research policy reform, and entree to engage federal policymakers on the Center’s top policy goals,” Cowperthwaite shared. “The work and products of Research!America are critical to both informing Gates Center leadership of the value and benefit of advocacy, and to educating the American public and federal policymakers of the need to support medical research.”
Learn more at www.GatesCenter.org.