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At the Andrews Institute, Stem Cells are Seen as the Next Stage in Sports Medicine

from Sports Illustrated

This article highlights the pioneering research of ACSM member James Andrews, M.D.

To find the future of sports medicine, head to the Andrews Institute and inside the Athletic Performance & Research Pavilion, past the bespectacled, lab-coat wearing wooden pelican in the lobby. Take the elevator up one floor, turn right and traverse the long hallway. Don’t miss the sign—“Regenerative Medicine Center”—written in small letters on the door. That’s it. No blinking neon bat signal announcing: Behold, three rooms that could change sports!

Of the hundreds of doctors, therapists and clinicians who work for the renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, only five know the code that opens the door. One is Adam Anz, a doctor whose angled face and long, brown hair suggest a swapped-at-birth Wilson brother who chose medicine over movies. He strides down the hallway, each step closer to the entrance and thus the future, glances left and right, then punches in the code.

Anz, 36, dons blue scrubs and tucks his wavy locks into a teal surgical cap before entering the most sterile of laboratories. He proceeds to the far back corner, where near the red can labeled “biohazard” there rests an oversized steel tub stamped ominously with “Liquid Nitrogen Vapor Freeze Freezer.” Anz opens the lid and wisps of white haze curl toward the ceiling. “Liquid nitrogen isn’t the safest thing in the world,” he says, as he reaches inside, grabbing containers filled with 40 small vials apiece. Each vial holds about four milliliters of stem cells and all their magical potential. more

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