Experience

"This facility makes bench research to bedside therapy possible."
Phyllis I. Warkentin, MD

The Biologics Production Facility is jointly operated by Nebraska Medicine, the region's most esteemed academic medical center, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the state's health science center and an international leader in health research. Nebraska Medicine has played a primary role in the development of innovative treatments for cancer and other diseases through the transplantation of cellular and tissue-based products since this field's early infancy.

Our hospital labs have served as the primary processing and storage facilities to support these cutting-edge treatment therapies, which require strict standards and tightly controlled environments to prevent product contamination. Our new Biologics Production Facility allows us to centralize our work in this area and opens up new opportunities for research and development of new treatments in patient care.

Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program

Since the program's founding more than 25 years ago, physicians and researchers at Nebraska Medicine program have been pioneers in the field of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and the processing of these products. Nebraska Medicine is recognized internationally for a number of ground-breaking advancements that have helped improve success rates and have made bone marrow and stem cell transplants a more viable and promising option for a growing number of patients. This includes those with lymphomas, leukemias, multiple myeloma as well as some blood disorders.

The first of these revolutionary achievements was the study and introduction of autogolous transplantation by James Armitage, MD, hematologist/oncologist, and his colleagues at Nebraska Medicine. Another milestone was the development of stem cell transplantation, which was introduced in 1984 by Margaret Kessinger, MD, hematologist/oncologist. The use of peripheral blood-derived stem cells as opposed to bone marrow-derived stem cells has become the standard of care for transplantation and has helped improve outcomes for autogolous transplant patients.

Julie Vose, MD, hematologist/oncologist and chief of Hematology/Oncology at UNMC department of Internal Medicine, is one of the country's leading experts on lymphoma. She has been conducting research on the disease for 18 years and is the principal investigator for numerous clinical research trials.

The Solid Organ Transplant Program

The Transplant Center is home to one of the largest and most successful programs in the world for kidney, liver, pancreas, intestinal and multi-organ transplants. Founded in 1970, the kidney transplant program performed the first kidney transplant in the state and has become widely recognized as one of the most active and innovative kidney and pancreas transplantation centers worldwide.

The liver transplant program, now more than 25 years running, has earned an international reputation and worldwide referral base. In 2004, the program reached a milestone shared by very few transplant centers in the country by performing more than 2,000 liver transplant and more than 500 pediatrics liver transplants, making it one of the most active and advanced centers in the world.

Innovation, solid outcomes and high patient survival rates have bolstered the status of the intestinal transplant program as a national leader. Our transplant specialists were among the first to begin performing combined liver and small bowel transplants. In 1993, the medical center became one of the first transplant programs to perform isolated intestinal transplants. Today, the Transplant Center is one of a few facilities in the country with expertise in this unique transplantation technique -- and one of the busiest.

Continuing a pattern of success and innovation, the Transplant Center broke ground in 1989 by starting a pancreas transplant program at a time when this procedure was just beginning to gain acceptance. Since then, the pancreas transplant program has experienced overwhelming success and is among the most active and pioneering centers in the world. The Transplant Center became the fifth center in the world to perform more than 200 pancreas-only transplants and consistently ranks within the top five centers for performing adult pancreas transplants. Nebraska Medicine is a leader in islet transplantation, liver and pancreas resections, and adult-to-adult living donor transplants, led by Transplant Surgeon Jean Botha, MB, BCh.

Cellular-Based Therapies

Nebraska Medicine has been involved in gene therapy and the development of cellular vaccines since this field’s early beginnings. James Talmadge, PhD, a research specialist at UNMC, has been active in molecular, cellular and gene therapies for the treatment of breast cancer for many years.  Gene therapy and cellular vaccines show much promise in providing additional treatment options for cancer and metabolic diseases.