The Michael G. Wells Competition is sponsored by the Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Fund, and is for University of Pittsburgh students who are developing innovations related to the healthcare field.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 70 regular members and 9 international members during its annual meeting in October. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, and director, Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, is one of its newest members. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Timothy Billiar, MD, George Vance Foster Professor and chair in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, associate medical director, UPMC International, and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member has received the Friendship Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the People’s Republic of China to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.
At the 6th Congresso Nazionale SIGASCOT meeting in Florence, Italy, Professor Stefano Zaffagnini surprised McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Freddie Fu, MD, with an honorary membership to SIGASCOT (Italian Society of Arthroscopy Knee Cartilage Sport Orthopaedic Technologies). Dr. Fu was honored in recognition of his outstanding contribution in orthopaedics clinical practice and research. This is the first such membership ever awarded by the society.
Aimon Iftikhar, graduate student researcher in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and in the laboratory of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Bryan Brown, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering with a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, has been accepted for appointment as a Pre-doctoral Fellow in the Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Fellowship TL1 program. Ms. Iftikhar began her initial 12-month project period on October 1, 2016.
The Annual Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in October 2016. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty and trainees were recognized for outstanding achievements and presented 50 papers addressing their most recent scientific achievements.
The Pittsburgh Liver Research Center (PLRC) Grant Review Committee has selected the awardees for the 2016-2017 grants. Congratulations to the following McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine awardees of the 1-year PLRC Pilot and Feasibility Grants:
Congratulations to Luai Huleihel, PhD, who won the Stimulating Pittsburgh Research in Geroscience (SPRIG) Scholar’s Pilot Project Award for his project entitled, “The Role of Matrix-Bound Nanovesicles from Old and Young ECM Scaffolds upon Macrophage Polarization.” This Award is in the amount of $10,000/year for 2 years. Dr. Huleihel works 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.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) sponsored the 4th Pitt Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge was focused on bold solutions in health. CTSI aims to move health-related research projects along the translational spectrum, not just to commercialization. Ideas and solutions did not need to be products ready for commercialization—basic science projects were encouraged to apply. In addition, the program encouraged new connections within the academic community, and among universities and community organizations, to foster an ecosystem of innovation.
The Wiegand Summer Internship provides an opportunity for a high school senior, who resides in Allegheny County and who graduated in the spring of the year, to spend 5 weeks learning first-hand about regenerative medicine research and scientific investigations in general.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) appointed Anne M. Robertson, PhD, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Engineering, Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member, to the Neuroscience and Ophthalmic Imaging Technologies Study Section at the Center for Scientific Review.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine is pleased to announce that Jenna Dziki, a doctoral student within the Bioengineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate researcher in the Stephen Badylak Laboratory, will be awarded the 2016 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Outstanding Student Award during the upcoming 2016 TERMIS-AM Conference. The 2016 TERMIS-AM Conference will be held from December 11-14 in San Diego, California. The TERMIS-AM Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Outstanding Student award presentation will be conducted on Wednesday, December 14th, after the keynote presentation.
Annually in September, the Pittsburgh Business Times pays tribute to local area Health Care Heroes. The 2016 Health Care Heroes Awards honor the individuals, companies, and organizations in western Pennsylvania for their contributions to improving health care in the region. This year, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine was selected as a recipient of the award in the Health Care Innovation category
In celebration of his appointment, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Simon Watkins, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, will present his inaugural lecture on September 15, 2016, at 4:00 pm in Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6. The title of his presentation is “From Little Animals to Moving Molecules.”
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Whitcomb, MD, PhD, the Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics, a Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Human Genetics, and the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is the recipient of the Henry Lynch Award by the International Symposium on Inherited Diseases of the Pancreas for his hereditary pancreatitis gene discovery. He was selected by the 9th International Symposium on Inherited Diseases of the Pancreas committee. He received the award during the 2016 PancreasFest held in Pittsburgh.
Based upon the work of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Joseph Glorioso III, PhD, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Paola Grandi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery at Pitt, Oncorus, Inc. will invest in researching and developing oncolytic viral constructs which will move through preclinical development and ultimately into clinical trials. Currently, the company’s lead candidate is in preclinical development for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The company will also expand and improve its technology platform and accelerate the development of pipeline programs in other forms of cancer. Oncorus, Inc. recently raised $57 million in a Series A funding round.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, a Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute, and Director of the Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering within the Institute, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, PhD, J.C. Warner Professor of Natural Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, are among the top 300 highly cited researchers or scholars in the field of materials science and engineering. The citation data is based on the Elsevier Scopus database.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health announced the Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21) to McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Robert Parker, PhD, Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, a Member of the Molecular Therapeutics/Drug Discovery Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and a Member of the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and Gilles Clermont, MD, Professor of Critical Care Medicine, of Industrial Engineering, and of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Medical Director of the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling, University of Pittsburgh, for their proposal titled “Endotypes of Thrombocytopenia in the Critically Ill.” This award is for $275,000 over the next 2 years.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Freddie Fu, MD was inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Hall of Fame during the Society’s Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. AOSSM Hall of Famers are individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the sports medicine field.
University of Pittsburgh’s 2016 Beckman Scholar—senior Uma Balakrishnan—is working toward a medical career and seeks to make significant contributions to research in human tissue engineering. Ms. Balakrishnan’s research focuses on finding new methods for producing high-cell density tissues in laboratory settings. Working within the lab of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Lance Davidson, PhD, Associate Professor and Wellington C. Carl Faculty Fellow in the Department of Bioengineering, she is looking for alternative methods of tissue generation, which could have an impact in organ repairs and transplantation.
The 16th Annual Department of Pathology Retreat, featuring the Pathology 27th Annual Research Day Presentations, was held May 25, 2016. The keynote address was given by Dr. Charles A. Parkos, MD, PhD, Carl V. Weller Professor and Chair, Mucosal Inflammation and Epithelial Pathobiology, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan School of Medicine. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members George Michalopoulos, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology, and Wendy Mars, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Experimental Pathology, made the opening remarks. After an afternoon of exceptional presentations, poster session discussions continued into the evening. This year’s winners of the poster session included:
Please join us in supporting CATER trainee Ben Rothrauff, who has scheduled his PhD Dissertation Defense and Final Examination on Monday, July 25, 2016 at 3:00pm in Bridgeside Point 2, 4th floor conference room.
The 16th Annual Department of Pathology Retreat was held on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 12:00PM in Scaife Hall, 4th Floor, Lecture Room 5. The keynote address was by Dr. Charles A. Parkos, MD, PhD, the Carl V. Weller Professor and Chair, Mucosal Inflammation and Epithelial Pathobiology, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan School of Medicine.
Three cheers for Tim Keane, PhD, who won the “Best Presentation Award” at the Bridgeside Research Forum for his talk entitled, “Extracellular Matrix as a Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis.” Dr. Keane works 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 Michael Boninger, MD, has been named UPMC’s vice president for medical affairs for Community Provider Services. Currently, Dr. Boninger serves as director of the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and professor and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In his expanded role, Dr. Boninger will provide medical leadership and coordination for initiatives in post-acute and community-based services across the entire UPMC health system continuum.
The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute awarded Rory Cooper, PhD, FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology, professor of Bioengineering, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL, a VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence in partnership with Pitt), Co-Director of the NSF Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center (a joint effort between Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University), and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member, with its inaugural Marlin Mickle Outstanding Innovator Award.
The University of Pittsburgh has witnessed more than 120 startup companies launched based on Pitt-developed inventions since 1996. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine deputy director Paulo Fontes, MD, FACS, UPMC transplant surgeon and associate professor, Starzl Transplantation Institute, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, received a 2016 Pitt Innovator Award for his scientific discovery, which has been patented (WO2014059316 A1, PCT/US2013/064607) and further licensed by VirTech Bio LLC, Beverly, Massachusetts. This project was originally sponsored by a charitable fund from the Virginia Garcia de Souza (VGS) Foundation, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. It creates a new technology for organ and tissue preservation based on the combined use of machine perfusion and a new hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier solution. Recently, Dr. Fontes received his award from Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Provost Patricia Beeson, and Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, Arthur Levine (all pictured with Dr. Fontes).
University of Pittsburgh’s bioengineering PhD candidate, Daniel Hachim Díaz, was elected as President of the Society for Biomaterials National Student Chapter. Mr. Hachim Díaz works in the laboratory of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Bryan Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering with a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh has dedicated $1 million in gap funding over the next 2 years to assist Pitt innovators seeking to commercialize their research discoveries. Coordinated through the University’s Innovation Institute, the Chancellor’s Innovation Commercialization Funds will assist faculty and students with Pitt discoveries in identifying unmet needs in the market for their innovations, developing prototypes, identifying potential commercial partners, or forming a new enterprise.
George Putic, Science and Technology Reporter, Voice of America, recently highlighted the research programs of three McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members. Featured were the on-going efforts in the laboratories of Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD; Ronald Poropatich, MD; and Paulo Fontes, MD.
Anthony Delitto, PhD, PT, FAPTA, has been appointed dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS). The former chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and SHRS associate dean for research had served as interim dean of the school since July 2015.
The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute honored Pitt Innovators whose inventions were recently licensed at its 11th Annual Celebration of Innovation. Also recognized were Pitt faculty, students, and staff who received patents or submitted invention disclosures since July 1, 2014.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Bernhard Kühn, MD, has been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), which was founded in 1908 and is “dedicated to the advancement of research that extends our understanding and improves the treatment of human diseases.”
The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine applauds its affiliated faculty members who were recently recognized by PittsburghMagazine. Each year the magazine commissions Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. to select top doctors on the national and regional levels. The physician-led research team identifies highly skilled, exceptional doctors by evaluating their medical education, training, and hospital appointments, and by surveying area hospital leaders and physicians.
The pioneering research led by Paulo Fontes, MD, FACS, UPMC transplant surgeon, associate professor, Starzl Transplantation Institute, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and a deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in the development of a new hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) for organ and tissue preservation in combination with machine perfusion (MP) has been selected as a 2016 TechConnect Innovation Awardee. The TechConnect Innovation Awards selects the top early-stage innovations from around the world through an industry-review process of the top 15% of annually submitted technologies into the TechConnect National Innovation Summit. Rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector
Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, welcomes McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and 15 other leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy who will serve as Komen Scholars – an international advisory group which helps to guide Komen’s research and scientific programs, education and advocacy work, and public health efforts in the U.S. and abroad.