The Carnegie Science Center (CSC) established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote innovation in science and technology across western Pennsylvania. Now, through the support of major sponsors like Eaton Corporation, the CSC has celebrated the accomplishments of more than 250 committed individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their accomplishments. The CSC announced the 2011 award recipients on February 3 and will honor them during the Fifteenth Annual Carnegie Science Awards celebration, to be held on May 6, 2011, at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh in Oakland. The following scientists who are contributing to regenerative medicine will be honored for their tremendous work and its impact on the vitality in the region:
Advanced Materials Award
Richard R. Koepsel, PhD
Sang Beom Lee, PhD
Jinyu Huang, PhD
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The team discovered new materials and processes that can produce long-lasting antimicrobial surfaces. They developed and demonstrated the effectiveness of this new class of materials that will revolutionize the manner in which the control of bacteria and fungus is realized for critical applications. These core technologies have been acclaimed by the Department of Defense and other industrial sectors that need to prevent surface contamination.
The Advanced Materials Award recognizes accomplishments in materials science that create new materials or properties leading to significant business, economic, or societal benefits for the region. The award is presented by Kennametal, Inc.
Marc Malandro, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Since Marc Malandro became the head of the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Technology Management in 2005, he has led an aggressive campaign to improve, promote, and facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technologies emerging from Pitt research. At the same time, he has contributed significantly as a catalyst to both the region's and the state's technology-based economic development efforts. Internally, he has helped transform the culture at the University of Pittsburgh to one that fully embraces the ideas of academic entrepreneurship and turning research into products and processes that benefit both the community and humankind. Marc, who is both a scientist and entrepreneur, has strengthened the process – and the long-term results – by making the process more faculty-friendly and customer service-oriented. Also, he has strengthened the office's relationships with industry, investors, and the economic development communities in ways that catalyze new economic growth, jobs, and innovation development.
The Catalyst Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have come to exemplify an area of science because of the actions they have taken to create public awareness over a broad swath of society, exemplified by people like Rachel Carson in the environment, Red Whittaker in robotics, and Alan Russell in regenerative medicine. The award is presented by Reed Smith LLP.
Special Recognition in Science Education Award – New Award for 2011!
Dr. Pollock is a leader in the development of innovative and creative informal science education resources on brain function, stem cells, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, evolution, and even the life and times of Charles Darwin. He has focused on the development of transmedia projects that develop storytelling across multiple forms of media, i.e. planetarium shows for the digital dome, DVDs for classroom, videogames for exhibits and classrooms, health literacy DVDs for patients, board games, etc. Dr. Pollock is committed to science education. His work has reached thousands in many different formats and arenas and he looks to sustain this work for a long time.
Educator Awards recognize innovation in science and technology education at each of the following four levels: Elementary Educator presented by Eaton Corporation; Middle Level Educator presented by Westinghouse Electric Company; High School Educator; and University/Post-secondary Educator. Educators are recognized for innovation in inspiring students to understand, appreciate, and apply science and for the extent that these innovations are disseminated. Candidates must have at least 3 years teaching experience.
University/Post-Secondary Student Award
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
In 2 years of work as a full-time graduate student in the laboratory of Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Mr. Agrawal has written one original first author manuscript accepted to the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, second author manuscript accepted to Laryngoscope journal, one first author manuscript accepted to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and multiple refereed conference proceedings at international conferences. Also, this past year, Mr. Agrawal was successful in obtaining a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Individual Fellowship Award (F30) from the National Institutes of Health, NHLBI. Mr. Agrawal's thesis work is based upon the concept of epimorphic regeneration—that is the possibility of inducing true tissue regeneration (like a salamander) in humans. He is investigating the role of cryptic peptides generated from extracellular matrix and their role in stem cell recruitment as part of the epimorphic regeneration process.
The University/Post-Secondary Student Award recognizes scientific advances through research, effectiveness in increasing the public awareness of the role of science or engineering to society, and inspiring youth in the promotion of career opportunities. This award is presented by Ansaldo STS USA.
Life Sciences Award
University of Pittsburgh/Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Dr. Trucco and his team have demonstrated in animals that his dendritic cell therapy can cure Type 1 diabetes. A Phase II clinical trial is now underway and is reaffirming the effectiveness of this vaccine in humans. In Type 1 diabetes, T cells from the immune system travel to the pancreas and destroy beta cells, which produce insulin. Dr. Trucco and his colleagues have observed a marked amelioration of diabetes in a mouse model by a novel treatment strategy, which involves specific modification of the animal's own dendritic cells, thereby reversing diabetes in this animal studies. The state of maturity of Dr. Trucco's technology is the result of years of pioneering research, beginning with his discovery in 1977 that improved the opportunities for organ transplantation and followed by his early discovery that Type 1 diabetes susceptibility may be genetic in nature and triggered by viruses. Dr. Trucco's discoveries have continued to lead to better processes for molecular typing for matching bone marrow donors and recipients, the ability to identify those at risk for diabetes, an understanding of the link between a common virus and Type 1 diabetes, and a potential cure for the pancreatic damage that causes insulin dependence.
The Life Sciences Award recognizes and honors scientific advances in new and innovative biomedical and life sciences endeavors. This award is presented by Pittsburgh Business Times.
Start-Up Entrepreneur Award (Honorable Mention)
The initial concept for the ALung product portfolio was the basic science that came from the University of Pittsburgh laboratories of William Federspiel, PhD, and Brack Hattler, MD, PhD (dec.), in 1997. Converting science into a commercial viable product is a challenge in any instance; converting medical science into a clinically viable product is an even more challenging endeavor. Mr. Kuhn has demonstrated his entrepreneurial leadership in the case of HemoLung—a second generation system that the company has pioneered from the original core technology that was developed at the University and transferred to ALung in 2005. Under his leadership, ALung has grown from a several person enterprise to a viable commercial enterprise as ALung begins commercializing its system by next year in Europe and by 2013 in the United States. ALung has added positions in operations, manufacturing, clinical affairs and finance, bringing its employee count to 21. Also, through Mr. Kuhn's leadership, ALung secured Series A financing which will support ongoing clinical trials of the HemoLung Respiratory Assist System and its subsequent commercialization.
The Start-Up Entrepreneur Award recognizes leadership in developing a promising innovation in an early-stage company. This award is presented by Pittsburgh Technology Council.