Finding Tomorrow’s Medical Breakthroughs, with Dr. H. Thomas Temple of Nova Southeastern’s TRED | EDB 57


In this episode, Harold Reitman, M.D. speaks with Dr. H. Thomas Temple, Senior Vice President of Translational Research and Economic Development at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Temple is an amazing person, not just with his expertise in orthopaedic oncology, but by facilitating some of the most promising, ground breaking medical research being done today. Dr. Temple discusses his history in orthopaedic oncology, the amazing progress being made in Nova’s research, and the importance of discovering more about the human brain.

To learn more about Translational Research and Economic Development at Nova Southeastern University, visit: www.nova.edu/TRED

41 Second Preview:

 

To listen or download the audio-only, podcast version of this episode, see the embedded player below.

Or look for us on your favorite podcast provider:

iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

 


Click Here to View Full Transcript

HACKIE REITMAN, M.D. (HR):

Hi I’m Dr. Hackie Reitman, welcome to another episode of exploring different brains, today I’m very excited to have one of my heroes here, cause he is not only an orthopaedic surgeon, he’s also a senior vice president of translational research over Southeastern University, he was head of the tissue bank down in Miami and maybe still is, and he does a million other things, so welcome Tom Temple.

DR. H. THOMAS TEMPLE (TT):

Thank you very much Hackie, it’s a pleasure to be here.

HR:

Well, first of all I want you to tell everybody what is translational research so we know, because you are over at Nova Southeastern and you’ve already moved mountains over there in a short period of time, so tell us what is all about.

 

TT:

Well, thank you for asking. It has taken me a long time as well, but a translational scientist is really someone who sits on the fence between clinical medicine and basic research, and fundamentally connects the dots between discovery and clinical application, so is somebody who recognizes but doesn’t necessarily do the basic sciences and somebody who’s had a real feel for clinical medicine but doesn’t really do the clinical trials themselves. So a translational scientist is someone who knows what the clinical problems are and connects the two.

 

HR:

Now, you are an orthopaedic surgeon and you are one of the few orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in oncology or cancer as it relates to bones and I myself as a practicing orthopaedic surgeon back in the day used to call you up and beg you for help down at the head of the university in Miami section there. Tell us the training that goes into, not only going to medical school, and then internship and then your residency to be an orthopaedic surgeon but the fellowships and sub specialization involved for this cancer sub-specialty which I don’t want to get lost in the wash, right here.

 

TT:

Well you never had to call me and beg for help, because I knew when you called you had a problem, and I had to struggle to try to figure out what to do. But the reality is in preparing for orthopaedic oncologist, it’s a general one year fellowship, it’s generally intense, I did mine at the Massachusetts General Hospital with Dr. Henry Menkin, who was one of the great leaders in the field of orthopaedics and orthopaedic oncology in general. It was one of the leaders in bones transplantations that became very near and dear to my heart. So orthopaedic oncology is a clinical year of study and then is a lifetime of trying to sort it all out. I also spent five years at the Armed Forces Institute of pathology and bone and muscular skeletol pathology so I tried to learned it all and not sure if I was successful in every aspect of it but like Arnie Palmer said “the more I practice the luckier I get”.

 

HR:

Well said. Let’s get back to what you are doing now, and part of what you are doing now, I think it’s still a bit with the tissue bank at the University of Miami?

 

TT:

Yes

 

HR:

Tell us about that, because that was a very pioneering thing when you got into that.

 

TT:

Yes, so the university of Miami is the oldest commercial tissue bank in the United States and it was started by a fellow named Ted Malinin, and when I was called to visit the university of Miami or at least consider the job, it was back in 1998 and I was perfectly happy at the University of Virginia and Mark Brown was the chairman at the time, and he said, would you like to come to Miami? and I said no, I’m perfectly happy here, and if I had to list fifty cities if only Miami would be on the top 50. And he called and he called and finally convinced me to come down and I saw the program and I saw the potential there but more importantly I saw what Ted Malinin was doing at the tissue bank, and he was truly a pioneer in transplantation. Now Henry Menkin was a great clinician but it was really on the backs of people like Ted Malinin who really sorted out the whole fundamental issues with bone transplantation and cartilage transplantation and growing cartilage in nutrient media, micronizing bones and putting it back together with stem cells and in-culture them and really that was the fundamental basis of my interest in the tissue bank and then around in 2006, the bank wasn’t doing too well financially and the dean said that “we don’t think is relevant to back the academic mission anymore” so he gave me one more year to turn it around, we were about 2.5 million dollars in revenue overnight with some affiliations, with some larger distributors we were able to turn into an 18 million dollar business, and positioned it for sale for a company that now has taken it to a 60 million dollars, so we were able to preserve that tradition, apply some business discipline around it, and still give that service fundamentally to the community and to advance some ideas in regenerative medicine.

 

TT:

Well it’s been incredible. It started out with a couple of key inventions and one was just sort of sitting around one day and watching a guy cutting bones on a bench-saw and fundamentally asking, what happens to that dust that we just throw away? and what we did is we took it down to the Meinheimer Foundation and we created close segment defects in animal primates we looked at different particles’ sizes, we looked at 100 micro particles, 1 to 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 8 and so on, and what we found was that when we looked at the 1/100 micro particles sizes which was the dust that we were basically taking off the stage of the bank saw, that was the most powerful material that to consolidate those defects, so we took it right to humans and the next 2000 cases where we had bone defects of that nature we’d just fill it with that micronized bone, and it was phenomenal. It just healed better than autologous bone graft and it changed the way we thought about bone incorporation. We all thought that bone has to resorb and then be replaced but really what happens with this is, you get a massive migration of stem cells in in the periphery and it goes bone to bone it doesn’t resorb and it fills in very quickly. So then, years later we were working with a group of the V.A and they created something called the Miami cell, which was a very powerful poorly differentiated embryonal like stem cells in adults that lived in a hypoxic space of the bone marrow. And they have worked on this for 15 years and they were publishing papers left and right but they never understood what it could possibly do. So we took it, the Miami cell and we married it to the micronized bone, and we created one of the first living bone products, called Via Graft, and Via Graft sales through the roof right now, but is one of the few living bone products that we can actually create bone in vitro, we can make it any shape, any size, and it’s been very powerful in healing non unions and very difficult pseudoarthrosis of patients with other co-morbidities so it’s really revolutionized I think in many respects what we are doing in the bone world.

 

HR:

And now with what Tom’s doing over at Nova Southeastern, it has this 6 story edifice, and under one roof, he is putting what?

 

TT:

So, this is really a Magnus opus, George Handers’ vision of basically creating research infrastructure that not only produces great ideas, but harnesses those ideas in a meaningful way. So he’s also looking putting in a 400 bed hospital, a hotel, and a maybe 2 200 square foot medical office buildings. Of which one is going to house potentially proton beam radiotherapy and the research clinical trials . So what exists now in that clinical research building is the self therapy institute and the self therapy institute is headed by a fellow Richard Jove, who really is fundamentally invested in the problems of ageing and tissue regeneration and with him came a whole cater of people from the Karolisnka Institute in Stockholm Sweden, who by the way issued a Nobel Prize for medicine in physiology. These guys are working on everything from taking natural killer T-cells which is a primary in defense in our body and reprogramming them so that they recognize specific tumor antigens and markers. So we can actually take the blood out of an individual and isolate these T-cells, we can reprogram them or expand them and put them back in the body, to basically just attack solid tumors and that’s one of the biggest focuses we have at Nova Southeastern, taking pediatric solid tumors and identifying those kids that don’t respond to conventional therapy and enroll them in the immune therapy trials. They’ve already cured melanoma in multiple refractory cases in Sweden, we are gonna to bring that technology here as well.

The other thing they are doing is really fascinating in the stem cells space, is they are taking embryonic stem cells and they are… as you know stem cell, all of our cells have a unique markers called HLA markers and they are consequentially going through that stem cell and removing those markers, one by one until they could deliver a cell product that doesn’t look foreign to an individual. So imagine a universal stem cell, that already has genes that are coded that will form retinopatia cells cells, they could form cartilage, they could form bone, they could do anything you like and if it gets out of hand, it has a kill switch. So you could just simply shut it off at any time if it were to get out of control. So these are just a few of the things that we are doing in the Self Therapy institute, and as partners we brought in diverse groups like GE Health, Big Pharma, Circa Research Institute, everybody who was kind of interested in this immune therapy space which is… maybe the first encouraging thing that I have seen in 20 years in terms of not just controlling cancer but potentially curing it.

The work we are doing is really transdisciplinary, innovative, and focused on things that we do well. And looking at the prescient diseases of our time.

 

 

HR:

Tell us other projects you have there and have to do with the neurosciences.

 

TT:

So I think the Neuro immune Institute is that component that is looking at these neuro degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease, these neuro immune conditions that simply alter your perception of space and time, and other degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and either reversing these diseases by understanding first of all who’s at risk and developing the proper biomarkers to identify them and then getting into their underlined physiology and finding reversible mechanisms to turn these things around and I think in our life time I think we are gonna see some substantial improvement in our understanding of these neurodegenerative conditions and where we are going. There’s an interesting lady at the University of Miami, who runs the brain bank and her name is Deborah Mash, she has the largest brain repository in the United States.

 

HR:

Even bigger than the one at Boston university.

 

TT:

Even bigger than that one. And we work with her to recover brains, through the different medical examiners’ offices throughout the state and she still working in bio-markers to predict for example who’s at risk for addiction. It’s fundamentally a chemical imbalance in the brain, is not just because you have a defect in your soul. It’s really a fundamental abnormality imbalance of chemical events that occur on your brain and what she’s trying to do is figure out what those are, how you can identify them, who’s at risk, and how to intervene.

 

HR:

Let shift gears a minute to tell me about something you are wearing on your clothing there, that somebody named Lacey Craddock, who’s your right hand person had a little bit to do with, tell us about that.

 

TT:

So Lacey understands that science and knowledge don’t move without money, and we can think about it all we want, but if somebody is not paid enough to think about it and paying for that effort, things don’t happen. So Lacey sees that and she understands that we need to generate, and the way to do that is to bring awareness to people who have cancer, in this particular case, breast cancer in solid terms, sarcomas and things of that nature. And by purchasing these pins, this money goes back into the research effort to allow us both the infrastructure and the scientific know-how to advance these ideas.

 

HR:

So that’s a pink shark of Nova Southeastern

 

TT:

Exactly, they are the sharks indeed.

 

HR:

One of the big things that our mutual visions have in common, is that at differentbrains.com the way I see it precisely because of my ignorance and the fact that I am not a real scientist is that all of these different xylose of research for Autism, for Alzheimer’s, for strokes, for Parkinsonism, the list goes on and on, it’s all just variations on the same thing, with the same theme, the same principles, and a lot of the same tools we can use to attack these problems and I know you are not there yet but I know it’s on your horizon, would you like to elaborate on some of the futuristic…?

 

TT:

Absolutely. I think that this is one of the final frontiers, our fundamental understanding of the brain, and we have a number of behavioral initiatives and… Parkinson’s disease for example, and addiction and people whose brains have been affected by toxic exposure; and our goal is to bring in all of these behavioral elements into the various institutes and there’s so many synergies between the brain and cancer, the brain and the immune system, the brain and stem cells for example that we could fundamentally take a human being with Parkinson’s disease and deliver a stem cell product into a very specific part of the brain and reverse those effects. Now, we have a Parkinson model right now in a rat, where we actually created a defect in that part of the brain and those animals walk in a circle just like a part of a behavior, but when we repopulate that part of the brain with a stem cell we can write their date. So we are looking at different ways of using stem cells, of using drugs and delivering them in the blood brain or through the blood brain barrier or across the blood brain barrier through a nasal root. So there are a lot… when you combine pharmacy, when you combine cell biology, stem cell research and neuro-biology, and neuro-anatomy and what we are doing is breaking down those silos. We don’t have the department of Parkinson disease, we are not the department of bad behavior, I mean they are together and that’s the whole purpose of the Centre for Collaborative Research, I mean, everybody is focused on problems from their different perspective and they actually talk to one another, and they actually learn from one another and is not just Nova Southeastern, we have global relationships with the university of Saint Petersburg, with India, with the Karolinska institute, so this is a global enterprise. It’s not just Nova Southeastern and we’ve gathered the best of everybody in the world to look at these problems and tackle them.

 

HR:

Our viewers, or listeners- how do they find out what you do there at Nova Southeastern?

 

 

TT:

We have a website, the TRED website, the translational research economic development website at Nova Southeastern edu that’s one of the best websites that we have available, and I think that all the information of the clinical trials, and the activities that are going on are basically in that website. We have our own office of translational research and economic development office right, interestingly in the law school, imagine an orthopaedic surgeon clean buried in a law school with all these lawyers. I get hives every morning. We would welcome visitors there, we would have symposiums, we had music programs, where people can come and learn a little bit more about what we are doing, we have some of the greatest pianists in the world, perform at these small recitals. So we have a lot of things going on where people can come and enjoy, not only that South East has a beautiful campus but learn more about the things that we are doing there.

 

HR:

What are some of the websites and Joseph and Michael put this up on our screen, but what are some of the websites that people can go to off the top of your head?

 

HR:

That’s great. We’d been talking to Tom Temple and this has been an amazing, and if there is one message you would like anybody to take this in this to get in this log line if you will.

 

TT:

As Camus, and Henry Menkins, used to always reinforce: “There’s always hope”

 

HR:

There’s always hope, and on that note I’m gonna thank you H Thomas Temple of Nova Southeastern University. Thank you very much.

 

TT:

It was a great pleasure and thank you for having me here today.

 

 

This video is owned by Different Brains Inc, kindly donated by it’s original producer PCE Media LLC.

Author Image

Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, “The Square Root of 2” (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC’s “Scandal”), and is the author of the book “Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity” from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”

Author Image

Harold Reitman, M.D.

Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, “The Square Root of 2” (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC’s “Scandal”), and is the author of the book “Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity” from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *