People on average are living longer than ever before. In part, this is due to medical advances that have made it possible to save more people from life-threatening diseases, injuries and congenital conditions.

But as people live longer, they're more likely to acquire chronic diseases or develop age-related conditions. Globally, there is an increasing incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases, and nearly 1 in 2 Americans has a chronic medical condition.

After the onset of most chronic diseases or injuries, the damage is there to stay — consider scarring of heart tissue from a heart attack, beta cell dysfunction in diabetes or a spinal cord injury from an accident. Symptoms can be managed, oftentimes with good success, but the underlying tissue or organ damage remains unhealed and can cause complications over time.

To develop new clinical applications that address the unmet needs of these patients, Mayo Clinic established the Center for Regenerative Medicine in 2011.

Mayo Clinic and center leaders believe that regenerative medicine, which makes it possible to actually repair diseased, injured or congenitally defective tissues and organs, will be a vital component of medical and surgical practice in the coming years. By harnessing the potential of regenerative medicine, Mayo Clinic is poised to create new models of health care and transform medicine and surgery.

A unique aspect of the Center for Regenerative Medicine is that its activities are not just laboratory based or clinic based. They're both — and everything in between. Efforts in each of the center's programs, which build on Mayo's extensive research resources and clinical practice, span the full spectrum of discovery science, translational research and clinical application.

In addition to developing regenerative medicine therapies for patients, the center is also committed to:

  • Training the next generation of clinicians and scientists in the latest regenerative medicine applications
  • Offering continuing education opportunities about regenerative medicine to Mayo Clinic faculty and staff
  • Educating patients and the public about the promise of and latest advances in regenerative medicine

Ultimately, this comprehensive approach means that the Center for Regenerative Medicine has the ability to turn promising laboratory discoveries into proven treatments — and make them available to patients — more effectively and efficiently than most anywhere else.

What is Regenerative Medicine