Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.: Regenerative medicine is an exciting component of modern health care. It harnesses breakthroughs in technologies to address major unmet needs of the population, both nationally but also globally. With the successes of traditional medicine, we'll live longer. And aging has been viewed as a major triumph of humanity. At the same time, unfortunately, with aging, we are facing with a growing pandemic of so-called chronic diseases — diseases that live with us throughout our lifespan, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and so on.
So regenerative medicine comes with this new ability to understand how our body can heal and to harness its innate ability, that self-ability to heal, to actually provide new solutions to these patients in need. So the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic has been built to address the unmet needs of patients. It builds on our new knowledge, bringing new ways to promote the self-repair ability of our body.
There have been magic moments during these few decades that we have built the regenerative medicine field. One such moment was when we saw, for the first time, how out of a stem cell, we can create new beating heart tissue. It was a revolution for us.
We would like to bring now this knowledge that may have started in one field to build it across fields as the new science allows, essentially, for learning between fields. We need true, radical innovation to move the current knowledge into new solutions. That is where regenerative medicine has a unique role. It changes the way we treat patients.