Collaborating with Purpose
Using living cells to change the course of disease
GRA Eminent Scholar and D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor
College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Director, Regenerative Bioscience Center
Aging baby boomers are driving the graying of America.
For the first time in U.S. history, the Census Bureau projects that by 2035 seniors will outnumber children. And as the shift of population grays, a dark cloud of uncertainty over rising healthcare costs looms in the distance.
Healthcare spending is projected to accelerate over the next decade, and a RAND study found that 60 percent of American adults now live with at least one chronic condition. Chronic diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, cost Georgia approximately $40 billion each year, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
By bonding together around a common goal and CMaT’s cross-institutional investments, we will have a greater impact on the development and the prosperity of each other’s local economies, as well as that of the state of Georgia.
Expanding Our Role in Economic Development
The CMaT partnership not only offers hope of new therapy and cures, it also provides Georgia an opportunity to become the next big biotech hub for jobs.
“The state of Georgia is becoming heavily invested in the idea of cell therapeutics and cell manufacturing, and Atlanta is on the cusp of becoming a biotech city,” says Luke Mortensen, an assistant professor of regenerative medicine and engineering in CAES and the College of Engineering, who spent three years at Harvard Medical School studying imaging applications in regenerative medicine in the greater Boston area, a biotech capital of the world that hosts over 1,000 biotechnology-related companies.
UGA, ranked No. 1 in bringing new products to the market, is uniquely positioned to fill the need of early stage biotechs.
“For the next-generation biotech entrepreneur, Georgia holds many advantages—from a rising technological metropolis and a highly trained workforce, to the state’s desire to provide tools and resources—making Georgia a competitive advantage from any new company standpoint,” said Mortensen.
CMaT is building on UGA’s commitment to fostering innovation and economic development. The partnership shows promise in translating research into products and jobs with industry partnerships ranging from large life science companies, such as ThermoFisher Scientific and Celgene, to small start-ups businesses, like Vicapsys.
“By bonding together around a common goal and CMaT’s cross-institutional investments,” Stice says, “we will have a greater impact on the development and the prosperity of each other’s local economies, as well as that of the state of Georgia.”