Regenerative Medicine Strategies for the Nervous System

Proposed by 

Ravi Bellamkonda
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA 

Elisabeth Engel
Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain 

Abhay Pandit
Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials
National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland 

Ana Paula Pego
INEB - Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, Portugal 

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert
University of Missouri, USA 

Antonio Salgado
3B.s Research Group, University of Minho, Portugal 

Molly Shoichet
University of Toronto, Canada 

Eva Sykova
Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR
EU Centre of Excellence, Czech Republic 

Anthony Windebank, M.D
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA 

John Haycock
Sheffield, UK 

Christine Schmidt
University of Florida, USA 

Erin Lavik
Case Western Reserve University, USA 

Michelle LaPlaca
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA 

Evelyn Yim
National University of Singapore 

Sing Yian Chew
National Technological University, Singapore 

Paul Dalton
Queensland University of Technology, Australia 

David Nisbet
Australian National University, Australia 

Qingtang Zhu
Shanghai JiaoTong University Affiliated Sixth People's, Hospital, Shanghai, China 

Xiaosong Gu
Nantong University, Nantong, China


Over the last few years there has been an increased interest in application of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to neural targets. Several opportunities in the area of neural regeneration (central/peripheral) as well as neurodegenerative diseases are slowly emerging as viable strategies of intervention available to the tissue engineering community. In addition, in all the TERMIS meetings there has always been at least one sponsored session in this area. As this specific topic is increasingly of interest, it is imperative to maintain continuity and to foment the interaction among clinicians, biomaterial researchers and neuroscientists through a thematic group in TERMIS meetings.

The Neural Thematic Group Initiative in TERMIS will lead to the organization of several relevant research forums in the neural area. Hence, translational strategies from basic to applied research will be incorporated in thematic sessions of each of the TERMIS meetings.

Operational Matters 

This proposal is being submitted by leading neural regenerative medicine researchers from several continents. For operational reasons a minimal organizational structure in the form of the Steering Board is proposed.
Liaison: Abhay Pandit, Ireland
TERMIS-EU Representative: Ana Pego, Portugal
TERMIS-Asia Pacific Representative: Evelyn Yim, Singapore
TERMIS- North America Representative (TBC): Ravi Bellamkonda, USA
The role of the liaison is to develop sustainable structures for this thematic group by ensuring leadership across all the three chapters. In the immediate future the continental representatives will be responsible for proposing thematic symposia in the respective annual meeting. There will be a general theme that will run across the annual continental meetings and this will be decided upfront by this steering board. The steering board will have at least two telecon meetings a year and the liaison will circulate the minutes.

The main event organized by the thematic group will be an annual symposium arranged by the continental representatives in each of their respective meetings. The representatives will work with their respective continental chairs and meeting organizers in formulating the symposium and will ensure that there is no conflict in the program. In addition to the annual symposia, it is intended that the thematic groups will interact strongly with the industrial and commercial sectors, targeted scientific societies in neuroscience, relevant clinical organizations and patient support groups. The thematic group will also promote synergies between members and nucleate consensus discussions around key general topics (e.g. standardization of methodologies, animal models, requirements of the different applications, etc.).

Summary of Proposed Activities:

  1. Symposia in continental meetings and world congress
  2. Workshops with industry partners
  3. Facilitation of academic-industry partnership
  4. Liaise with sister societies (Neuroscience)
  5. A cohesive lobby at an international level that will aim to influence stakeholders