This program, which is part of the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program, is funded through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program Research and Development Office.
As part of its regenerative and restorative research, USAMRMC has supported 10 hand transplants and four face transplants during the past five years.
“This innovative work has the potential to make a significant impact on improving the function, wellness, and overall quality of life for injured military service members, veterans and the American public,” said Kathleen Berst, acting director of the Regenerative and Restorative Medicine Management Team at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity. The first consortium is led by Emory University and supported by the University of Maryland, the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery at the University of Louisville and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The second consortium is led by Johns Hopkins University and supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
The consortia will focus on several research topics, including immune tolerance to enhance the patient’s acceptance of the transplant, new techniques to lengthen the time surgeons have to transplant the tissue, and processes to make monitoring of such transplants uniform across the institutions that perform the surgeries.