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Harvard’s Wyss Institute and Charité, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals, announce partnership

Collaboration will speed clinical translation of new materials and tissue engineering technologies for orthopedics and connective tissue regeneration.

(BOSTON and BERLIN) — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Berlin-based Charité jointly announced a formal partnership today.

Charité is one of Europe’s largest university hospitals, with 17 Centers that include more than 100 clinics and institutes. It becomes the Wyss Institute’s 10th collaborating institution, joining Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Tufts University.

“Our alliance with Charité — a world leader in clinical translation and basic research — will help us to expand our reach internationally,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D. “It will also help us to accelerate translation of our material- and cell-based regenerative medicine technologies into human clinical trials — nicely complementing our existing consortium of partners.”

The announcement formalizes and elevates an existing collaboration between Wyss Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., and Georg Duda, Ph.D., Vice-Director of Charité’s Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and Wyss Institute Associate Faculty member. Mooney was one of the first Einstein Visiting Fellows at BCRT. The two have worked together over the last two years on various musculoskeletal tissue engineering research projects. As part of the new agreement, Duda has been appointed a Wyss Associate Faculty member.

“This partnership will help us to more effectively and more broadly capitalize upon the engineering and technology translation capabilities of the Wyss Institute,” said Duda, who is also the Director of Charité’s Julius Wolff Institut. “Together we can deliver new technologies and therapies into the hands of doctors and patients much more quickly than if we operated alone, and that’s very exciting.”

The collaboration will allow scientists from Berlin to work with the Wyss Institute in Boston, and vice versa.

The Wyss Institute will gain access to Charité’s clinically relevant large animal models, patient populations for clinical trials, and Good Manufacturing Process (GMP)-level cell culture and material processing facilities. Mooney, who is also the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), said Duda and the Charité researchers with whom he has worked are particularly skilled in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. “I’m especially excited about working as a team on new cell- and material-based therapies that have the potential to transform the way we treat traumatic limb injuries, bone fractures, and more,” he said.

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