Innovation Quarter News

First Innovation Award Presented to Professor George Christ

Wake Forest Innovations presented its very first ‘Innovation Award’ to Professor George Christ on March 28 for his recent breakthrough work in the technology of Tissue Engineered Muscle Repair (TEMR) for treatment of volumetric muscle loss – ultimately for treatment of wounded warriors and civilian trauma. Dr. Christ is working with the FDA to agree to next steps in the development of this tissue repair technology for secondary revision of cleft lip, a condition that affects approximately 1 in 700 children worldwide.

Professor George Christ

The award was presented by Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, President of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and Chief Innovation Officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, on behalf of Wake Forest Innovations and recognizes excellence in innovation through Innovation Quarter and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of the Innovation Award,” said Christ. “The TEMR technology that is the focal point of this award is part of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) effort, and reflects the multidisciplinary team science and innovation that are ongoing at the Wake Forest Baptist Institute for Regenerative Medicine WFIRM. The technology itself has the potential to be a groundbreaking treatment for volumetric muscle loss.”

The proposed first-in-man clinical indication for the TEMR technology will be secondary revision of cleft lip. However, if the pilot study is successful, the long-term clinical implications are very exciting for the development of future generations of this technology, as well as for the utilization of this technology in the multi-composite tissue engineered constructs that will be required to treat devastating traumatic injuries to soldiers and civilians.

Dr. Christ is an expert in muscle physiology, has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is the co-inventor on more than 24 issued or pending patents (national and international) related to gene therapy for the treatment of human smooth muscle disorders and tissue engineering technologies. He is Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Translational Science and Head of the Program in Cell, Tissue and Organ Physiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, as well as the Director of Education and Training Programs at the WFIRM.. He is an Affiliate Faculty in the Molecular Medicine and Molecular Genetics Programs, as well as the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest School for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. He also holds appointments in the Departments of Urology and Physiology & Pharmacology and the Sticht Center for Aging.

Innovation Award winners will be announced every other month at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter Social Research event, a 2-hour networking event which strives to build tenant, community and colleague engagement through interaction in an informal setting. Details for the May Social Research event will be emailed soon! Not on the distribution list? Email us to be added.