BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Inside the walls of Johns Hopkins Hospital, behind secure doors, sit rows and rows of researchers, opening doors to the world.
An associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Justin Sacks helps heal hundreds of patients each a day, but it's inside the lab where he's hoping to make a global impact.
“Every day you get these magical ideas,” Sacks said.
He's currently working on a tissue scaffold, explaining: “We have to do clinical trials to make sure this is safe to do what we want it to do, which is act like human fat.”
The scaffold could replace painful fat grafting procedures.
Resident Physician Deepa Bhat said: “If we have the opportunity to save patients the pain and the morbidity of undergoing multiple procedures for fat grafting and having them avoid anesthesia again and again, then that's huge.”
With five floors dedicated to research, like the hundreds of other projects in the Smith building, this could be a huge medical breakthrough.
“If you're able to inject something into another patient without having to cut another part of the body, that's an improvement and an innovation in stuff that were doing right now," said Sacks.
It's more than just a focus on innovation that continues to attract some of the best minds in medicine to John's Hopkins.
Sacks says the halls of Hopkins are inspiring.
“You're bumping into Nobel Prize winners and biomedical engineers," he said.
Across the street from the hospital sits a 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, designed to bring inventions from the lab to the market.
Christy Wyskiel is the Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University. She said: “Last year we received over 500 inventions. People did something amazing and new Our mission is to take those 500-plus ideas and make them a reality for patients around the world.”
Sacks said: “It's such an exciting thing to be part of, and Baltimore and Johns Hopkins really fosters this environment for all these things to happen.”
Even as his research continues, FDA approval on Sacks' scaffold may be years away.
He said: “Sometimes when I get tired, I let the momentum of the university push me forward.”
Because the next big idea may only be one door away.
“We don't accept the status quo, we push the boundaries of scientific discovery every single day.”