The P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center was initiated in August of 2004 with funding provided by the NIH (supported through the NIBIB). The core themes in the Center continue to focus on functional tissue engineering achieved through the integration of the key elements in the field, via a systems approach; cells, scaffolds and bioreactors to control the environment. The Center is run at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and is directed by Professor David Kaplan. The Center also includes a partner institution, Columbia University in New York City, where the Associate Director for TERC, Professor Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, runs additional aspects of the Center. There are two main cores in TERC, a biomaterials core at Tufts University and a bioreactor core at Columbia University. Stem cells and related cell biology needs are integrated into these two core efforts to optimize functional tissue outcomes.

The unifying mission for the TERC is to engineer human tissues for medical impact in a number of ways:

  • Functional human tissue grafts: human tissues for application in regenerative medicine
  • Human disease models in vitro: in vitro models of human disease to provide new experimental tools to understand the progression of disease, effects and mechanisms of drug action, and thereby facilitate therapeutic discovery and the development of new treatment modalities
  • Fundamental biological-materials research: bioengineering tools for rigorous cell biology studies in the context of tissue development, regeneration and disease

The vision for TERC is that tissue engineering and regenerative medicine will continue to mature into a scientifically well-founded field with direct impact on clinical medicine, understanding diseases and providing a new platform for drug discovery. This vision will be achieved through a rational analysis of the underlying biological, biochemical, biomechanical, and biophysical questions of human tissue development and disease, followed by application of established and developing engineering concepts to those observations. Through the elucidation of key concepts, the integration of these concepts and the component activities, with guidance from clinicians and users, significant impact will be realized. Building off of these goals, TERC will continue to foster service, dissemination, and collaborative research, in support of the scientific community.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Jodie Moreau.