Christopher Breuer, MD, Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD, and their tissue engineering team will be joining the faculty of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine this fall. Breuer and Shinoka, currently at Yale University, were the first in the world to tissue engineer blood vessels and implant them in human infants for repair of congenital heart defects. They currently have US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to conduct the first U.S human trial to investigate the safety and effectiveness of this method. They and their team will conduct this work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“The fundamental problem faced by surgeons caring for children with congenital anomalies (defects that are present at birth) is the lack of sufficient tissue for reconstruction that is capable of growth,” said Mark Galantowicz, MD, FACS, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Co-Director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as well as a Professor of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Tissue engineering is the process by which the child’s own cells are used to ‘grow’ new tissue or organs for repair of these birth defects and it holds the incredibly exciting potential to completely change how we care for our patients.”
Dr. Breuer and Dr. Shinoka will serve as Co-Directors of the new Tissue Engineering Program at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Breuer will also serve as the Director for Tissue Engineering in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s new Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Based Therapies.
“The careers of Dr. Breuer and Dr. Shinoka exemplify what can be accomplished by highly focused surgeons with unwavering dedication to solving a problem faced by pediatric patients,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the E. Thomas Boles Jr., Professor of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Following medical school at Dartmouth and training in Surgery and Pediatric Surgery at Brown University, Dr. Breuer served as the Chief of Pediatric Surgery for the United States Air Force. He then joined Yale University where he is currently Director of Tissue Engineering and Associate Professor of Surgery and of Pediatrics. At Yale, Dr. Breuer assembled a spectacular team and began to fulfill his longstanding dream of building blood vessels for children with heart defects. He obtained National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding upon first submission and currently holds three major NIH grants, a grant from the American Heart Association, and extensive industry funding. He has received numerous honors recognizing his contributions, including the Jacobsen Promising Investigator Award from the American College of Surgeons which is given to the most innovative young surgical investigator in the country.
Dr. Shinoka received his medical degree at Hiroshima University and his PhD in biomedical engineering at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. He was a leading clinical congenital heart surgeon at the Heart Institute of Japan before joining Yale University, where he has been Director of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery and of Pediatrics for the last five years. Dr. Shinoka is a successful surgeon-scientist, conducting nearly two decades of increasingly sophisticated tissue engineering research, both bench-top and translational. As an accomplished clinical congenital heart surgeon, Dr. Shinoka will join the Heart Center surgical team at Nationwide Children’s and will also be involved in the Heart Center’s Research initiatives that resonate well with his foundation in congenital heart disease translational research.
“We are delighted at the prospect of working with Dr. Breuer in our new Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Based Therapies,” said Steven Gabbe, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University. “The goal of our Center is to work with partners such as Nationwide Children’s and Battelle to discover novel treatments, and Dr. Breuer’s work is certainly indicative of the kind of research and clinical care we want to foster.”