In the 1940s, The United States orchestrated what is regarded by many as the greatest scientific collaboration initiative in modern history. Uniting the brainpower of over 130,000 scientists, engineers and military and government officials across three different nations — the U.S., Canada and Great Britain — The Manhattan Project was a true ‘race against the clock’ designed to create the first atomic bombs, which would ultimately destroy the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the Second World War.
The Manhattan Project was designed to address a significant challenge. Specifically, as Germany ramped up its own atomic research programs, U.S. Government and military officials believed that the U.S. already had the capability to build the bomb quickly, yet scientists and engineers were not collaborating and sharing intelligence. In fact, in many cases, these parties were competing against one another for government and funding support, slowing the progress of atomic breakthroughs.
If America can unite its greatest minds in hope of building a weapon of mass destruction, vanquishing barriers between the scientific, military and government communities, as well as public and private enterprise, then surely we can unite our forces to serve those who have served our nation most – America’s wounded warriors, the countless brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have returned home from the battlefield with lost limbs, burned skin and damaged organs, traumatic brain injuries, and, in many cases, a lifetime of pain and rehabilitation.
As in the 1940s, many renowned adult stem cell scientists working today believe we are very close to developing the cellular technologies that will allow our wounded warriors to actually ‘regrow’ a lost limb or severely burned skin, repair a damaged brain, or miraculously, allow a disabled wounded veteran to rise up from his or her wheelchair and walk again. And while organizations such as AFIRM (The Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine) have made extraordinary progress in fostering a more collaborative approach to creating therapies for wounded soldiers and veterans, the reality is that countless universities, research centers and institutes, spanning public and private enterprise, and organizations serving veterans, are not collaborating enough.
In recent months The Stem for Life foundation, with support from well-known figures from the U.S. Armed Forces and organizations that serve wounded soldiers and veterans, have begun preparations to launch The Stem Cell Project, a 10-year ‘race against the clock’ designed to accomplish three miraculous goals: To regenerate a soldier’s lost arm or leg; to reverse the damage suffered from a traumatic battlefield brain injury; and to develop the technologies that will allow severely burned soldiers to grow new skin.
We will be sharing more information in the coming months about this incredibly exciting and important initiative for America’s wounded warriors. In the meantime, we encourage you to donate to The Stem for Life Foundation so that this dream may become a reality.