RMURegenerative Medicine Utrecht


Prof.dr. Marianne Verhaar
Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht
Utrecht University, Hubrecht Institute

Regenerative Medicine (RM) is a rapidly advancing life sciences field, in which biomedical and biotechnical research areas and clinical care converge with the aim of developing curative therapies by restoring or regenerating living tissues. The Netherlands, and Utrecht in particular, is among the pioneers in this field, both in science and in technological applications. Regenerative Medicine Utrecht (RMU) brings together >250 fundamental, translational and clinical scientists, integrating fundamental science, emerging technologies, translational research and clinical care to perform high-quality research for veterinary and human patients, in the fields of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular tissue regeneration, and stem cell-based therapies. Researchers from UMC Utrecht, UU Science- &Veterinary Faculty, and the Hubrecht Institute are represented in RMU.

Regenerative medicine aims to provide novel solutions for what are now considered chronic diseases by using our body’s own resources to regenerate and repair damaged tissues. Regenerative Medicine Utrecht (RMU) converges life sciences, engineering and physical sciences. Located at Utrecht Science Park, it includes: Utrecht University, the Netherlands’ largest and highly rated academic institution, with a broad spectrum of excellent research and education; University medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), a large, leading academic medical center; the nation’s sole Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; the renowned Hubrecht Institute; and a growing number of strategic private/public partners. RMU has grown exponentially and comprises the largest mass of RM researchers (>250) in the Netherlands.
Since its inception in 2009, RMU has built an excellent infrastructure, offering access to a variety of large and small animal models, including needed high-tech facilities, patient materials, novel technologies and multi-disciplinary expertise. Shared high-tech facilities include: the Utrecht 3D printing & biofabrication Facility, the Dutch Molecular Pathology Center, the Gene Editing Facility, iPSC Facility, as well as facilities for advanced microscopy & imaging, RNA/DNA & single cell analysis, molecular pathology, proteomics & metabolomics, bioinformatics, and high throughput 3D organoid screening. This infrastructure complemented by expertise in and infrastructure for pre-clinical/clinical research, including a GMP-accredited Cell Therapy Facility and multiple biobanks. Further, RMU offers a campus-wide educational program that includes a PhD program, multiple summer schools and Master’s programs, as well as a Medical Master’s technology track and bachelor electives for Biomedical Sciences, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
In 2015, the RM Center Utrecht (RMCU) opened and since then concentrates most Utrecht RM investigators under one roof, which facilitates the integration of fundamental science, emerging technologies, translational research and clinical care based on content and not host affiliation. The range of knowledge within RMU is highlighted in the following scientific breakthroughs: a therapy for cartilage defect regeneration; a clinical trial for stem cell-based therapy for limb ischemia; the first personalized medicine applications of organoid technology; and active integration of ethical considerations. With over 2000 peer-reviewed articles from RMU researchers, many discoveries have been published in Science, Nature and Cell. RMU investigators are also leading the emergence of new/recent disciplines, such as biofabrication and gene editing technologies.
RMU has all the elements to propel findings from bench to bedside and is enhanced by strategic alliances with technical universities, large (inter)national RM consortia, such as Materials Driven Regeneration (MDR, supported by a NWO Gravitation grant, which is a collaboration with Technical University Eindhoven and MERLN Institute Maastricht) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMedXB, a virtual institute of Dutch and Belgian public - universities and governments - and private - health foundations and companies - partners), and a strong valorization focus, as well as close connections to Dutch health foundations and patient organizations. Researchers are supported by Dutch and European grants and are involved in many EU consortia. The new RMCU demonstrates a paradigm shift in how research is conducted; the synthesis of different backgrounds and approaches is creating new discoveries for patient benefit.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Life Sciences & Health
Regeneratieve Geneeskunde: game changer op weg naar brede toepassing