The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine was established by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to serve as a single base of operations from which the university's leading researchers and physicians develop new ways to repair tissues and organs impaired by disease, trauma, or congenital abnormalities. In addition, the Institute educates scientists and engineers developing technologies related to regenerative medicine and trains clinicians in the use of regenerative therapies. Just as important, the Institute commercializes the new technologies it develops so patients can benefit from them.
Originally established in 1992 as the McGowan Center for Artificial Organ Development, the Institute takes its name from the late William G. McGowan, chief executive officer of MCI Communications. Mr. McGowan underwent a successful heart transplant at UPMC in 1987. In 2001, when the center's mission was expanded to include tissue engineering, adult-derived stem cell and wound healing research, and several other areas of investigation, it was renamed the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
McGowan Institute laboratories are housed in two buildings near UPMC and the university campus. The Bridgeside Point Building houses the facilities for tissue engineering and biomaterials research. Labs dedicated to medical device research are located in the University of Pittsburgh's new two-story, 45,000-square-foot "green design" building located on the former site of LTV Steel along the Monongahela River.
Research activities at the McGowan Institute are supported by government and industry grants as well as by gifts from individuals and foundations, including the McGowan Charitable Fund.