Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Khalil Bilar works in a laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Jeff TIberii

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem have made progress in their efforts to replicate human kidneys.

Regenerative medicine can sometimes sound futuristic, but doctors at Wake Forest are actually using kidneys from deceased pigs with the hope they could one day be transplanted into human patients. The concept is to let the original cells die off, then take human tissue to re-grow the organ in a lab.

Recently, doctors have developed a method to keep blood vessels open and allow blood to flow through these new regenerated organs.

Khalil Bilar works in a laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Jeff TIberii

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem has been selected to lead a regenerative medicine project designed to help wounded veterans. The research and medical care received a $75 million grant from the Department of Defense. The institute of regenerative medicine can transplant tissue, oversee the growth of skin and has devices that decrease scar formation.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, hospital
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Thousands of employees at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem will be affected by several cost-cutting measures. The hospital is planning to freeze some hiring, reduce retirement contributions and ask employees to voluntarily take furloughs.

flu shot
samantha celera, via Flickr, Creative Commons

According to new research out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, some people who suffer from the flu emit far greater amounts of the virus than others.  A small pilot study found 5 out of 61 patients who tested positive for flu released 32 times more of the virus in air samples taken during routine care. 

The largest employer in Forsyth County will eliminate 950 jobs by next summer. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is bracing for a decrease in medical reimbursements and federal research funding. This week 76 full-time employees will be let go. By June 475 workers will be let go and another 475 positions will be eliminated through attrition and retirement. CEO Dr. John McConnell says no doctors, nurses or P.A.’s will lose their jobs.

A new study on the use of tasers says there is no added risk if you're hit in the chest.

Jeff Tiberii: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center looked at 1200 real-life instances where law enforcement officers used a taser. Dr. William Bozeman is Director of Pre-Hospital Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist.

William Bozeman: And what we found was, that we could not see any higher rise of injury or problems or complications in people who had the tazer probes land across the front of the chest. And we thought that was very important.

In Winston-Salem a new president has been named to the Piedmont Triad Research Park. Jeff Tiberii has more.

Jeff Tiberii: Eric Tomlinson has been chosen by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to lead the PTRP. Tomlimson has experience as both a scienctist and leader of several start-ups. That was a major draw for the leaders at Wake Forest, including Dr. John McConnell, the CEO of Baptist Medical Center.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is introducing a Bio Tech facility later today in Winston-Salem.

Jeff Tiberii: What used to be an RJ Reynolds tobacco manufacturing and storage facility will now serve as Wake Forest BioTech place. The 242-thousand square foot facility will house about 450 people by the end of this year. It’s part of the Piedmont triad Research Park. Medical Center V.P. Doug Edgeton says the new site will have research projects in bio-chemistry, pharmacology, physiology, biomedical engineering and micro-biology.

One North Carolina hospital is using a new device to help patients who have congestive heart failure.

Wake Forest Baptist health is the first hospital in the state implanting the dual ventricular lead. In laymans terms it’s a more advanced pacemaker. The small device will help hearts pump more blood and with a better rhythm. Dr. Glenn Brammer is a Cardiac Electro Physiologist. He says this device also has 10 internal vectors that allow physicians options after the procedure. 

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist University Hospital have been able to regrow simple body parts out of injured patients' own cells.  Anthony Atala and his colleagues at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine have been able to rebuild the urethras of boys injured or born with birth defects. The urethra is the tube that drains the bladder. Atala says he harvests cells from other parts of the patients' bodies. Then he uses a special mesh framework for the cells to grow around.