Clinical research skills development program in cell-based regenerative medicine

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Feb;4(2):118-22. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2014-0144. Epub 2014 Dec 29.


Cell-based therapy aimed at restoring organ function is one of the most exciting and promising areas of medical research. However, a novel intervention like cell-based therapy requires physician education and training. An increasing number of physicians untrained in regenerative medicine are using cell-based therapy to treat patients for a wide variety of chronic illnesses. The current lack of training for physicians in this area combined with the sharply increasing practice of regenerative medicine is concerning for a number of reasons, namely potential harm to patients and avoidable conflicts between governmental regulatory agencies and physicians. Academic medical fellowship training programs are needed that specifically prepare physicians for treating patients with cell-based therapies for various organ systems and chronic diseases. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute established the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Network to design and conduct clinical trials that advance the field of cell-based therapy for patients with cardiovascular disease. As part of the network, a two-year Clinical Research Skills Development Program was supported at two centers with the goal of training early career investigators in cell-based clinical and translational research. In this review, we describe the implementation of this training program at our institution with the purpose of promoting the further development of academic fellowship programs in cell-based regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Cell Transplantation / education*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Regenerative Medicine / education*