Regenerative Sciences Institute’s mission – educating through scientific discovery and entrepreneurship and research through hands-on experience. – resonates throughout.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”– Ghandi
RSI – the people, the culture, the programs – embody the pillar of change that we envision. Through our pilot educational programs, we have sowed the seeds for the next wave of creative scientists, who will continue the culture of training renascent Independent Scientist Explorers (rISE) in their own labs, thus spreading change across the world. Permanent social change however, requires altering social perception towards non-traditional research and the creation of a support system for these explorers. We laud the notion of the nonconformist scientists who pursue fundamental questions and create paradigm shifts, but realize the current predicament: that without long term support these scientific revolutions are unachievable. The current attitude demanding high productivity output, often at the cost of high quality, deters the most creative individuals from a career in science. To this end, we seek funding from visionary benefactors to jump start and develop our revolutionary system. We will then take advantage of the entrepreneurial and scientific expertise of our members to create a self-sustaining system through innovative and novel technology.
Impact in Regenerative Biology and Medicine
A major goal is to establish and attract other scientists to the emerging discipline of Regenerative Biology. To start this requires distinguishing regenerative biology – tissue, organ, and organismal regeneration – from regenerative medicine and stem cells, which is inherently limited by its focus on immediate medical applications. We have recently launched a journal Regenerative Biology to promote this new discipline, as a part of a broader initiative to change the way science is communicated, Bio 2.0.
Using the “immortal” regenerative organism, Schmidtea mediterranea, a fresh water planarium that can completely regenerate itself from tissue fragments, as a model system for regeneration, we are deciphering the molecular mechanisms that circumvent aging and cancer. Because of significant evolutionary conservation, it may be possible to implement similar circuits in humans by moderate genomic engineering.
Gleaned from experience with our pilot educational programs, a period of at least 3 years of uninterrupted support is necessary for a renascent Independent Scientist Explorer (rISE) to make an initial impact. This period is consistent with the time traditionally required for a PhD in Great Britain and for making key discoveries during the classical era of modern molecular biology in America, circa the 1950s. To support long-term revolutionary research, RSI created the Bio 2.0 Foundation. The foundation’s goals are two fold: 1) to support research of early career scientist (fresh phDs) for 5-10 years and 2) to create an outlet for these scientist to showcase their “works in progress” with the world. We envision a global classroom where advanced interactive technology such as augmented reality (Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens) will link RSI scholars to students and researchers across the globe. As our scholars embark on their journey of discovery, so too will remote students. Our evolution into an autonomous global community of independent, insightful scientist-entrepreneurs will provide voices of reason and insight, creating a resource to ensure continued revolutionary change in science and society.