The military experience of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Bradley Nindl, PhD— as a researcher, active duty member, and new commander of a U.S. Army Reserve unit — has enhanced and broadened his work at the University of Pittsburgh.
Residents, fellows, postdocs, and medical students filed into the University Club to compete in the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) 26th Annual Fellows Research Day poster session. Among this group of accomplished young researchers was Trevor Kickliter, a mechanical engineering sophomore in the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.
Surgeons and interventional cardiologists at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute recently performed their 1,000th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), making them the first heart program in the region to reach this clinical milestone.
The 2018 Pittsburgh Heart Ball took place on February 17th at the Pittsburgh Wyndham Grand Hotel. 550 supporters came to celebrate the award recipients and raise $1.2 million for research and prevention of stroke and heart attack education.
The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $115,000 to five engineering and medicine groups through its 2017 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. Four of the five projects are led by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members. The latest McGowan Institute faculty funded proposals include proposed solutions to conditions such as peripheral artery disease, pulmonary fibrosis, improved wound healing and repair, and a better means to perform root canal surgery.
Each year more than eight million tons of plastics pollute the ocean, forming mammoth, so-called “garbage patches” via strong currents. Even with new collection methods, only 0.5 percent out of that volume is currently removed from the seas. One solution to this growing crisis is to prevent plastic from becoming waste to begin with – and researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering are one of five international teams awarded for their novel solutions to this problem.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Ron Poropatich, MD, has been named the Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research (CMMR), Health Sciences, at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Poropatich (Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine; Senior Advisor for Telemedicine, UPMC; and retired US Army Colonel) has made significant inroads with senior leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) medical research community and University of Pittsburgh faculty since his arrival at Pitt in 2012, when the Center was established.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, has been named a Health Hero by O, The Oprah Magazine. Dr. Cooper—the FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology, and professor of Bioengineering, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and also the Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, a VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence in partnership with Pitt—was one of 14 “changemakers” featured in the magazine’s January 2018 issue.
In one week in December 2017, Steven Little, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and the William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering, Immunology, and Ophthalmology, and Riccardo Gottardi, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, were co-authors on two publications that were featured on the respective journal covers. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine congratulates these affiliated faculty members on this significant accomplishment. Details follow.
Recognizing his significant accomplishments over the past year, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Robert Parker, PhD, Full Professor, was the 2017 winner of the James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching in Chemical Engineering at the annual Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering gathering.
On December 17, 2017, “Our Region’s Business,” a Sunday-morning business affairs program co-produced by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and WPXI-TV, featured the biotechnology industry in Pittsburgh. The program is hosted by Bill Flanagan, who is Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference and its affiliated organizations.
Joseph Bartolacci is an MD candidate from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia who spends summers in the laboratory of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine deputy director Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Professor in the Department of Surgery and Director of the Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering within the Institute.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Antonio D’Amore, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering, and a member of the lab of McGowan Institute Director William Wagner, PhD, was recognized by his Italian colleagues for his scientific accomplishments.
Through the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute, the First Gear program helps shape Pitt inventions originating from University research from early-stage discovery to products and services that can be taken to market. The program offers hands-on guidance and mentorship that takes an inventor through the necessary steps in creating a go-to-market plan that can result in the creation of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the technology.
Dr. Tuan is the Director, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, the Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Director, Center for Military Medicine Research, and a Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recently, the Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Tuan as the eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK for a period of 6 years from 1 January 2018.
Western Pennsylvania has long been a hub for innovation. This year the Pittsburgh Business Times (PBT) introduced its Innovation Awards, a program that recognizes those that made extraordinary advances in their respective fields, challenging conventional thinking. They are the disruptors, creating new products and developing new approaches that challenge traditional approaches. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine was selected as one of the winners of this inaugural award for its pioneering development and clinical implementation of regenerative medicine-based therapies. Also, the Human Engineering Research Laboratory under the leadership of McGowan Institute affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, was recognized for the development of the PneuChair (TM) pneumatic wheelchair as a PBT Innovation Award winner. The third awardee that has a McGowan Institute relationship is Qrono, Inc. This Pittsburgh start-up was formed by McGowan Institute faculty member Steven Little, PhD, and his former graduate student Sam Rothstein, PhD.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, has been named an ambassador for the “Mobility Unlimited Challenge,” a $4 million global contest to change the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis, culminating in the unveiling of the winners in Tokyo in 2020. This effort will harness creative thinking from across the world to accelerate innovation and encourage collaboration with users to find winning devices to transform the world for people with lower-limb paralysis.
Recognizing the impact of his tenure on students, faculty, and peers, the Board of Visitors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering recognized McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Robert Parker, PhD, with the 2017 Board of Visitors Award. Dr. Parker, Professor and Vice Chair for Graduate Education in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, was recognized for faculty excellence in teaching, research, and service, and for contributions to the University, the Swanson School, and the engineering discipline.
The first human heart transplant in the world was performed at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, on December 3, 1967. After training over a decade in heart surgery, Christiaan Barnard, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Experimental Surgery, accepted the risk of transplantation and successfully performed the operation. Many believe that Dr. Barnard’s courage to perform the human heart transplant, while others in the field hesitated, was his greatest contribution.
Philips Grand Challenge, hosted by Philips and the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, awarded four University of Pittsburgh faculty members a total of $100,000. Each is innovating in the area of sleep and respiratory care.
The final event in the Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) concluded with the award of funding to innovative projects featuring wearable devices that address problems in health care. The challenge, which is in its fourth year, was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The central question addressed by this year’s contestants was, “How can we use wearable technology to address an important health problem?”
When Michael Wells had an idea for a healthcare startup when he was a University of Pittsburgh student, he didn’t know where to go for help within the University to move it forward. For the past seven years, the successful healthcare investor and entrepreneur has helped accelerate the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at Pitt through the Michael G. Wells Competition to ensure that any student with such an idea has access to resources and support to take it all the way. Also, Laurie Kuzneski, together with her husband Andy, created the Kuzneski Innovation Cup. In its second year, the competition assists Pitt innovators with non-healthcare ideas. Both competitions’ judges agreed that choosing this year’s winners was very difficult due to the quality of all the nominees’ presentations.
The Partnership for Public Service honored McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, research scientist at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, with a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammie) for his work as director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL).
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC announced recently new leadership appointments in its Heart Institute and Division of Pediatric Cardiology. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Jacqueline Kreutzer, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is now appointed as chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Marina Kameneva, PhD, Research Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, and Director of the Artificial Blood Program at the McGowan Institute, along with co-inventors Denis Bragin, PhD, and Edwin Nemoto, PhD, from the University of New Mexico, recently received a U.S. patent for their development entitled “Rheological treatment of brain ischemia by drag reducing polymers.”
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Shilpa Sant, PhD, was named one of eleven of the 2017 Young Innovators of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) and her work is featured in the October 2017 issue of the journal. As a 2017 CMBE Young Innovator, Dr. Sant will present her research in a special, two-part invited platform session at the 2017 Annual Meeting of BMES in Phoenix, Arizona.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Robert Parker, PhD, Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Member of the Molecular Therapeutics/Drug Discovery Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Member of the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness Center in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, will become a William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor in Engineering for a term of 5 years.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member William Federspiel, PhD, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, has been selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council. He will share his knowledge and expertise in healthcare education, workforce development, business, leadership, management, chemistry, biology, biomedical engineering, and medical devices.
The Wiegand Summer Internship provides an opportunity for a high school senior, who resides in Allegheny County and who graduated in the spring of 2017, to spend 5 weeks learning first-hand about regenerative medicine research and scientific investigations in general.
Colleagues, trainees, friends, and family of Savio L-Y. Woo, PhD, DSc, DEng, Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering and the Founder and Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center, organized and participated in a day-long event on August 29th to celebrate Dr. Woo’s 47-year academic career and his significant impact on orthopaedics and bioengineering– both in the advancement of the science as well as the clinical implementation of emerging technologies.
Recognizing her contributions to the fields of chemical engineering and computational modeling, the University of Pittsburgh has appointed McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Anna Balazs, PhD, as the John A. Swanson Chair in Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering. University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher made the appointment on the recommendation of Provost Patricia Beeson and U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering Gerald Holder.
Recently, the Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) unanimously approved the appointment of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Associate Director Rocky Tuan, PhD, as the eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK for a period of 6 years from 1 January 2018.
“If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?” This is the question asked of thousands of dentists to help determine who the topDentists should be. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members honored in 2017 include:
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Toronto have uncovered the first molecular steps that lead to immune system activation and eventual rejection of a transplanted organ. The findings, published recently in Science Immunology, may be used someday to create better donor-recipient matches and develop new ways to prevent rejection of transplanted tissues.
The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine held its fourth annual Regenerative Medicine Summer School 2017 the week of June 4, 2017. The Summer School week, endorsed by the Society for Biomaterials and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), was initiated and led by McGowan Institute faculty member Bryan Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor with the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh with a secondary appointment in Pitt’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Brown is also the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Scholar (NIH K12), Magee Women’s Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.