Allan Dietz, Ph.D.; Eric Dozois, M.D.; and William Faubion, M.D., were presented with the 2017 Team Science Award from the Mayo Clinic Research Committee for their research, “Phase I Study of Autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Coated Fistula Plug in Patients with Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease.”
Dr. Dietz is a Consultant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and directs the Immune, Progenitor, and Cell Therapeutics (IMPACT) laboratory within the Division of Transfusion Medicine. Dr. Dietz is also the Co-Director of the Human Cell Therapy Laboratory at Mayo.
Dr. Faubion is a Consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and specializes in inflammatory bowel diseases. Dr. Dozois is a Consultant in the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery with expertise in surgical interventions for managing Crohn’s disease.
About the Project
Collaborating together across specialities, this team was one of the transformation teams launched in 2014 as part of Mayo's "Transform the Practice" strategic goal to address the unmet needs of our patients. One of the concerns of patients with Crohn’s disease is painful fistulas, which can cause drainage of bowel contents onto the skin and lead to infections.
The team has developed a novel regenerative medicine therapy that uses a patient’s own stem cells and a dissolvable mesh to create a “plug” for the fistula. Once the plug is surgically implanted, it is designed to decrease inflammation around the fistula and also recruit new cells to heal the body from within. The team has published initial results from the phase I trial, and plans are underway to conduct a phase II multicenter trial. Moreover, this work has spurred additional collaborations across Mayo Clinic to explore the use of this technology to address other aspects of Crohn’s disease, as well as fistulas related to different conditions. Watch the video below about their collaboration:
About the Team Science Award
The Mayo Clinic Team Science Award recognizes "team science": the unique and valuable contributions of different insights, skill sets, and complementary expertise, without which the effort could not succeed.
All of the 2017 awardees were recommended by an enterprise-wide committee, approved by the Mayo Clinic Research Committee, and subsequently endorsed by the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors.