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Press Release

Contact:
Chriss Swaney
412-268-5776

For immediate release:
July 31, 2003

Carnegie Mellon University Partners With University of Pittsburgh To Host Global Bone Symposium Featuring New Medical Research

PITTSBURGH—More than 150 of the world's medical elite will come to Pittsburgh August 20-23 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel to showcase and discuss some of the latest technologies used in wound healing and tissue engineering developed to improve patient care. The symposium, co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon and Pitt, is designed to stimulate increased interaction among academic clinicians and scientists, the private sector and industry.

Jeffrey Hollinger, head of Carnegie Mellon's Bone Tissue Engineering Center, said the symposium will serve as an open platform for the exchange of cutting edge ideas and medical technologies. Under Hollinger's direction, researchers are testing whether a protein that powers bone growth in the body can be harnessed to jump-start healing and possibly eliminate intensive surgeries such as bone grafts. The protein, known as Runx, or core binding factor A, has been called the "master switch" for bone-making cells, called osteoblasts. Researchers have found that mice genetically engineered to lack the protein didn't form bones.

In addition to panel sessions and poster displays, conference participants will meet and greet keynote speaker and legendary NBA Hall of Fame star William Felton Russell. The former Boston Celtics player is scheduled to speak Friday August 22 at 7 p.m.

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