Dr. James Antaki holds two Adjunct Professor positions at the University of Pittsburgh: one in the Department of Surgery and one in the Department of Bioengineering. His main academic appointment is at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he is a Professor in Biomedical Engineering. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the Computer Science Department at CMU. Dr. Antaki holds several other non-academic posts, including Director of Decision Support Systems, Blenderhouse, LLC; Chief Scientific Advisor, Tropical Health Systems, LLC; Chief Creative Officer, LaunchPoint Technologies, LLC; and, President, AntakaMatics, Inc.
Dr. Antaki received a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. He went on to earn his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Antaki has been involved in artificial heart research since the first implantation of the Jarvik-7 in Pittsburgh in 1985.
The majority of Dr. Antaki’s professional career has been devoted to the development of blood-wetted medical devices. Equally important as the devices themselves, his research focuses on the methodology by which they are designed and implemented. For example, his group was one of the pioneers in physiological feedback control of implanted ventricular assist devices. They also developed one of the first decision support programs for identifying heart failure patients who could potentially recover with the acute mechanical circulatory assistance.
Over the past 24 years, Dr. Antaki has contributed to the development of several heart-assist devices used clinically, including the Heartmate-II, Novacor, Ventracor, TandemHeart, and Levacor. In 1997, he directed a multidisciplinary team that produced the Streamliner heart-assist device – the world’s first magnetically levitated rotodynamic blood pump to be tested in-vivo. For this work, his partner and he were awarded an IEEE Controls Systems Technology Award in 2001.
The current emphasis of Dr. Antaki’s research involves five application areas:
circulatory support systems for children
decision-support tools for optimal use of ventricular assist devices
feedback-control algorithms for optimizing cardiac recovery
multi-scale modeling of thrombosis in artificial circulation
development of medical devices for global health
A nascent, overarching project aims to accelerate medical innovation by professional networking between physicians and medical product designers. In summary, Dr. Antaki’s interest and experience is diverse, yet share a common theme of improving healthcare through biomedical engineering.
Among many honors received by Dr. Antaki is the 2009 Steven Fenves Award for Systems Research and the 2003 H. Koyanagi Young Investigator Award by the 11th Congress of The International Society for Rotary Blood Pumps. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Antaki holds 19 patents with 10 patents pending and has a prodigious record of publications. He is a Board Member of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs.
View a list of Dr. Antaki’s publications here.