Dr. Savio L-Y. Woo is a Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering and the Founder and Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center (MSRC), a diverse multidisciplinary research and educational center in the Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He arrived at the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 after spending 20 years at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as a Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering.
Dr. Woo received his BS degree from Chico State College (1965), and MS and PhD degrees (1966, 1971) from the University of Washington. In 1999, Dr. Woo was bestowed a Doctor of Science Degree (Hon.) from the Trustees of the California State University System and in 2008, he earned a Doctor of Engineering Degree (Hon.) from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Dr. Woo is a pioneer in bioengineering and is renowned for his 45 years of translational research in healing and repair of tissues. Together with his team, they have authored over 308 original research papers in refereed journals as well as 154 book chapters and review articles. Their work has significantly impacted the management of ligament and tendon injuries including clinical paradigm shifts that have led to improved patient outcome. (View a list of Dr. Woo’s publications here [http://www.pitt.edu/~msrc/personnel/faculty/wooPublications.html].)
More recently, Dr. Woo’s research has focused on two areas: 1) measurement of the properties of ligaments and tendons and joint mechanics and 2) functional tissue engineering (FTE) and regeneration of ligaments and tendons. His laboratories are organized to investigate the cellular and molecular responses to mechanical stimuli to improve the outcome of ligament and tendon healing. Also, he has pioneered the use of robotic technology to study the function of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and to improve ACL reconstruction procedures. When combining it with biplanar fluoroscopy, he and his team will be able to better characterize mechanisms of ACL injury and find better ways for its prevention. Currently, Dr. Woo is exploring the use of biodegradable magnesium (Mg) and Mg alloys for ligament regeneration.
Dr. Woo has educated over 475 orthopaedic surgeons, post-doctoral fellows, and students from all around the globe including Japan, Germany, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, Korea, Canada, England, Norway, India, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR, and China. He has also mentored 37 junior faculty members.
Dr. Woo has been a leader in Bioengineering and Orthopaedics. He has served as Chair of ASME’s Bioengineering Division, United States National Committee of Biomechanics, and the World Council for Biomechanics as well as President for The Orthopaedic Research Society, American Society of Biomechanics, and International Society for Fracture Repair. He has also founded the International Symposium on Ligaments and Tendons (ISL&T) and the World Association for Chinese Biomedical Engineers (WACBE).
Dr. Woo has been inducted into the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academia Sinica, only one of four persons who have gained all three of these honors.
He has also received the highest honors from many professional societies, including the Kappa Delta Award, the Herbert R. Lissner Medal, the O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award, the Giovanni Borelli Award, the Muybridge Medal, and the prestigious Diamond Award for Distinguish Achievement from the University of Washington, among others. Most recently, he was given the IEEE Gold Medal for Innovation in Healthcare Technology from the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 1998, Dr. Woo received the Olympic Prize for Sports Science from the International Olympic Committee and the first Olympic gold medal at the Nagano Games in Japan. Most recently, Dr. Woo was honored by the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers with the establishment of the Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal. He also received an Honorary Professorship from Ningbo University.