Magazine article National Defense

University Investing in Medical Military Tech

Magazine article National Defense

University Investing in Medical Military Tech

Article excerpt

* From eye transplants to innovative studies in concussions, the University of Pittsburgh is researching new medical technology that can benefit injured soldiers.

Work is being done through the university's Center for Military Medicine Research, said the center's executive director Ronald Poropatich, a retired Army colonel who worked as a pulmonary/critical care medicine physician.

"The whole purpose of that center, established in June of 2012, is to facilitate collaborations between the University of Pittsburgh faculty" and officials in the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, he said. "We focus on some really large research topics that play to the strengths of the university and also play to the needs of the DoD."

Those areas include regenerative medicine, human performance, injury prevention and traumatic brain injury research, he said.

Within regenerative medicine, Pittsburgh is investing research dollars into tissue engineering, medical device development and cell therapy, he said. While the center is only a few years old, the university has been working in the field for more than 10 years, he noted.

Eye transplants are one area of study. Funded through a Defense Department grant worth about $250,000, the university has examined ways to transplant the eyes of rats, he said. Success with laboratory animals could one day usher in success with human patients.

It is still difficult for researchers to remove the eye and part of the rat's face and transplant it into another rat, he said. …

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