BERM Center

The BioMatrix Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BERM) Center

We seek to capitalize on UAB’s emerging strengths in matrix biology, nano-structured biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to develop tissue repair and replacement technologies and to translate these approaches to novel therapies, cell-based treatments, tissue replacement products and technologies.

OUR MISSION
The BERM Center’s mission is to promote excellence in research and education in tissue regeneration and repair by development of scientific expertise in the biology of the cellular microenvironment, adult stem cells and their niches, nanostructured matrix scaffolds, development of 3-D tissue constructs, and bioreactors and translation of these approaches to novel therapies, cell-based treatments, tissue replacement products and technologies.

The Center’s emphasis on translation of regenerative medicine technologies to practice and industry will attract researchers, industry and investors to develop novel therapies, tissue replacement products and technologies.

CRITICAL NEED
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are areas of national investment as evidenced by publication of “2020: A New Vision - A Future for Regenerative Medicine” by HHS and recent funding opportunities from NIH, NSF and foundations (see Appendix). A number of recent events now place UAB in an excellent position to develop robust, campus-wide programs in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and to achieve national prominence in these areas.

The Center's location in the interdisciplinary Shelby Building has facilitated recruitment of new faculty in Engineering, Dentistry, Pathology and Orthopaedics. Research programs and core facilities in Center for Metabolic Bone Disease (CMBD), The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Center (AMC), Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics provide critical mass to establish strength in the Center. The Center will build on the depth and breadth of UAB multi-disciplinary expertise in cell-scaffold interactions, nanostructured scaffold development, bioreactor technology, biomechanics, computational modeling, tissue repair, and associated clinical and translational research.

The space in Shelby committed to the BERM Center is the result of the co-operative vision of the CMBD, CAMRC, and Engineering. With the restructuring of the Cell Adhesion and Matrix Research Center (CAMRC), existing strength in matrix biology will provide a sophisticated scientific platform to develop and evaluate biologic and synthetic matrix scaffolds and 3-D tissues. These events converge to present an exciting opportunity for UAB to develop world-class research and training programs in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

The BERM Center will facilitate the development of this area as a new strength at UAB by enhancing the competitiveness of UAB faculty through development of core facilities, symposia, training activities, a Center website and a semi-annual newsletter. These activities will make UAB more attractive to both faculty and trainees.

IMPACT
In March 2006, The Department of Health and Human Services published a report entitled “2020: A New Vision - A Future for Regenerative Medicine” that could lay the groundwork for significant public and private investment in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Center will serve as a focal point for interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and multi-scale experimental and computational investigations to develop nanostructured scaffolds and tissue replacement products.

The core, research and training activities fit well with NIH roadmap initiatives in Nanomedicine, Cellular Imaging and Computational Biology as well as initiatives in regenerative medicine at NSF, DARPA and private foundations. We anticipate developing research teams and training programs that emphasize translational research, behavioral/social sciences, and quantitative sciences and include research, training, infrastructure, and curriculum development and coordination activities.

UAB has the space, faculty, core facilities, interdisciplinary collaborative environment and broad support from Business, Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, Natural Sciences & Mathematics to develop novel tissue replacement products and technologies and translate these to clinical practice and industry to improve or restore organ function lost due to disease or trauma.

CONTACT US

Timothy M. Wick, Ph.D. Joanne E. Murphy-Ullrich, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair,
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Pathology
Co-Director, BioMatrix Engineering and
Regenerative Medicine Center    
Co-Director,
BioMatrix Engineering and
Regenerative Medicine Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham          The University of Alabama at Birmingham
807 Shelby Interdisciplinary
Biomedical Research Building
668 Volker Hall
1825 University Boulevard 1670 University Boulevard
Birmingham AL 35294 Birmingham AL 35294
(205) 934-8422 (office) (205) 934-0415 (office)
(205) 975-4919 (fax) (205) 975-9340 (fax)
tmwick@uab.edu murphy@uab.edu