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San Antonio leading regenerative medicine collaboration among military, non-military stakeholders
December 3, 2014

Michael Davis weighs in on the role San Antonio's collaborative approach to medicine could have on stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

Dr. Michael Davis, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, believes more collaboration among military, academic and private-sector leaders is needed if researchers hope to make more compelling advancements in regenerative medicine. He believes researchers and other stakeholders across the U.S. - and the world - could learn from the team approach San Antonio leaders have adopted.

Davis moderated a panel discussion on U.S. military investment in regenerative medicine at the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit in San Antonio on Wednesday. He told me San Antonio leaders have embraced the value of collaboration in the biosciences, particularly stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

"We have a very unique situation in San Antonio with the RegenMed SA program, which really promotes collaboration with the military, academic centers and industry," said Davis about the local nonprofit organization, which earlier this year helped organize a separate conference on regenerative medicine and stem cell research. He said such collaboration "synergizes the community to create advances even faster."

While San Antonio appreciates the advantages of such collaboration, it's a concept that must be practiced on a much wider scale, regenerative medicine leaders insist.

"There should be more collaboration, a coalition of facilities, talent and institutions that come together to advance some of these technologies," Davis said. "We know that when we bring people from different backgrounds, from different institutions, that's really when great things happen, when great advances can be made."

San Antonio put the hard sell on organizers of the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit, promising collaborative support from top military and civilian bioscience leaders, should the city get to host the global conference. It was that unique mix of assets and assistance which ultimately helped convince the Genetics Policy Institute to stage the 10-year-old summit in the Alamo City for the first time.

So how has San Antonio managed to break down some of the barriers, with researchers from the military, academic and industry sectors working jointly on novel technologies in the bioscience space?

"It's a combination of factors," Davis said. "It's a credit to (city leaders) and to this being Military City USA. It's also a result of the individual investigators that are very willing to collaborate and to put egos aside."

 

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