"Their dedication to our troops can be summed up by a placard that the workers place inside each vehicle. It reads: 'We build it as if our lives depend on it. Theirs do.'"
- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, during a tour of the Red River Army Depot
Gates applauds efforts at Red River Army Depot
Armed Forces Institute of Technology
What is it?
The Army has established a virtual institute called the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM). It brings together the top researchers in regenerative medicine to get the most out of collaboration.
How it works:
- Military, other federal and civilian institutions work together toward new development.
- The combined funds from these organizations will be more than $250 million.
- They grow human-shaped tissue from host adult stem cells.
- AFIRM builds on many scientific breakthroughs already made in the field.
- It will be a five-year project, initially.
What has the Army done?
The Army has improved greatly the battlefield survivability of our Soldiers. It does that through much faster, better medical care. Many Soldiers have severe wounds requiring extensive, long-term treatment and rehabilitation.
- With excellent medical care saving them, the Army wants to repair their wounds.
- Regenerative medicine has demonstrated the potential to help make wounded warriors' recoveries more complete.
- The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Institute of Surgical Research, San Antonio, Texas, will lead two main research groups.
- Those two groups, including the nation's top universities, combined with federal agencies, make the largest national collaboration, to date, in regenerative medicine.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Products could result from AFIRM efforts during the next five years. The Army expects research over that time to lead to meaningful replacement tissue and other sophisticated structures. Eventually the medicine could advance far enough to re-grow limbs, as it unlocks unlimited potential for future quality of life improvements, for our wounded warriors.
Why is this important to the Army?
The secretary of the Army has placed care for our wounded warriors among his highest priorities. This collaborative effort, in the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, demonstrates the Army's commitment to care for our Soldiers' physical and emotional health, in response to their sacrifices. This innovative development initiative gives Soldiers and their Families even better quality of life, and helps the Army maintain the best all-volunteer force.
News Release: New AFIRM to lead way in caring for wounded
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