The mission of the UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center is to develop a nationally recognized and self supporting "Center of Excellence" for research and training in tissue engineering and stem cell biology here at UWRF through collaborative interactions with academic, industry and clinical partners.
The UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center has it’s origins in the Lyden Lab which was founded in 2001. This lab originally focused on normal placental cell biology, continuing work done by Dr. Lyden at the Ohio State University Medical School during the 1990s.
By 2004, the lab was transitioning to a broader interest in developmental biology and had begun to use 3-D cell culture to model tissue formation. This work involved a significant emphasis on fetal stem cell biology in relation to artificial tissue formation. With the support of the UWRF Foundation, the lab next transitioned into the Cellular Imaging and Analysis Center.
In 2006, the lab, now called the UWRF Center for Advanced Cell Biology, had shifted almost exclusively to working on 3-D artificial tissues and potential applications of this material. This new focus on practical applications was fostered by significant funding support from WiSys Technology Foundation. In addition, funding has also been provided throughout the TCICs development by the UW-RF Foundation, the CAS and CAFE Dean’s offices and the Provost. Significant support and some funding has also been available through the Biology Department and Biotechnology Program.
In February of 2008, the Managing Director of the WiSys Technology Foundation proposed that the Center for Advanced Cell Biology transition into one of five proposed "Innovation Centers" to be established throughout the UW System. These Centers represent a new paradigm at the comprehensive campuses of the System which focuses on an economic development approach that combines cutting edge teaching/training, research and community outreach as well as unique new partnerships with industrial and clinical collaborators.