The research work of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty and the clinical translation of these emerging technologies through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) already has begun to transform health care in Pittsburgh, and now it's reaching a national audience. The Discovery Channel, a popular, science-oriented cable television network, aired an hour-long documentary entitled "Life Changing Medicine" which included some of the innovations created by the regenerative medicine scientists at the McGowan Institute. The program profiles the researchers' life changing innovations in limb transplantation, muscle-restoring regenerative medicine for wounded warriors, and medical technology for children with heart defects.
Hosted by Discovery Channel medical expert Dr. John Whyte, and filmed in Pittsburgh at UPMC, the program explored the wonders of:
- hand transplantation, with Vijay Gorantla, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery in the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and administrative medical director of the Pittsburgh Reconstructive Transplant Program at UPMC
- regenerative medicine, with Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, deputy director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, director of the Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering within the Institute, and professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
- pediatric ventricular assist devices, with Peter Wearden, MD, PhD, director, Pediatric Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support Program, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
The "Life Changing Medicine" documentary premiered on the Discovery Channel on September 10, 2011. It was repeated on September 17 and September 24. The program is accessible online, or as a podcast, here.
This documentary is part of a series of collaborations between the Discovery Channel and UPMC this past year. These include over 50 podcasts to help educate physicians on the latest medical information on a wide variety of topics such as cancer care, heart disease, and women's health. Future projects are in the works. "Discovery Channel and UPMC are like-minded organizations, in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Our partnership gives us an opportunity to educate consumers about the advancements in medicine and technology that are both forward-looking and practical," states Dr. Whyte.
"It's a rare opportunity to collaborate on a program that highlights the often groundbreaking and life changing care that we deliver every day to our patients. This showcases just a sampling of our finest physicians and hospitals which provide the world-class care that ranks among the nation's best," said Marshall W. Webster, MD, executive vice-president, UPMC, and president UPMC Physician Services Division.