SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Engineers with the University of California, Berkeley, will be part of a six-university consortium based in the Golden State to develop strategies for treating craniofacial defects, which affect millions of Americans.
The consortium, known as the Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration (C-DOCTOR), is a part of a broader effort to develop resources and strategies for regenerating dental, oral and craniofacial tissues that have been damaged by disease or injury.
As a 24 million U.S. dollars project, C-DOCTOR's goal is to shepherd new therapies through preliminary studies and into human clinical trials, including 12 million dollars announced this week from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"The College of Engineering has had a long history in the area of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine," said Kevin Healy, professor in the College of Engineering, who leads Berkeley's research efforts in C-DOCTOR. "Faculty in the departments of bioengineering and materials science are at the forefront of cutting-edge research that will have a transformative impact on craniofacial tissue engineering."
"The C-DOCTOR funding provides the facilities and resources to support their activity, providing what is necessary to explore interdisciplinary collaborations to achieve the translational goals of the center," Healy was quoted as saying in a news release.
Craniofacial defects have devastating effects on patients, both because vital sensory organs and brain are housed in the cranium and because the face is so important to a person's identity. Such defects also can lead to compromised general health. Besides UC Berkeley, other C-DOCTOR partners include UC San Francisco, University of Southern California, UC Davis, UCLA and Stanford University.