Honors & News
April 9, 2014
Three BME Students Awarded Whitaker Scholarships
Biomedical Engineering students Echoe Bouta, Jason Inzana, and Amanda Chen have been awarded a 2014-2015 Whitaker International Program Scholarship grant. Echoe is a PhD candidate from Professor Edward Schwarz's Lab and will be pursuing her post-doctoral training at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Jason is a PhD candidate in Professor Hani Awad's Lab and will be pursuing his post-doctoral research at the AO Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland. Amanda is currently a senior working in Danielle Benoit's Lab and will be pursuing a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, working with Professor Nigel Slater.
Congratulations to all of you!
September 18, 2013
Jason Inzana and Dr. Hani Awad
A recent article in Hajim School of Engineering' and Applied Sciences' newsletter, The Full Spectrum, features examples of how tissue engineering research at the Biomedical Engineering Department, much of which is conducted in preclinical models to heal traumatic injuries, is bolstered by the work of BME faculty and graduate students in the laboratories of professors Awad, Benoit, and Buckley, capitalizing on close ties with the Center for Musculoskeletal Research.
As part of a consortium of research projects funded by AOTrauma, Dr. Hani Awad and his lab members are using new 3D printing technology to fabricate bone scaffolds made of biocompatible material to replace the original bone tissue lost to infection. As part of the
printingprocess, the scaffolds can be
ink-jettedwith antibiotics to fight the infection and with growth factors to stimulate replacement bone growth. These therapeutics can be applied to the surface of the graft, or embedded uniformly in it, so they can be released gradually, as the graft dissolves, to ensure the infection is eradicated and to stimulate regeneration of the bone tissue.
Dr. Danielle Benoit
Dr. Mark Buckley
With support from a National Institutes of Health grant, Dr. Danielle Benoit's team is exploring the use of hydrogels - Jell-O-like polymers - that can be seeded with the patient's own stem cells and wrapped around the transplant. Benoit's graduate student Michael Hoffman has demonstrated that as the hydrogel dissolves, the stem cells are gradually released and promote bone healing and integration. Benoit is exploring various ways in which this can all be orchestrated to maximize graft healing and integration.
Dr. Mark Buckley, who joined biomedical engineering as an assistant professor at the start of the year, is studying heat buildup in tendons as they are stretched during various activities and the extent to which this contributes to cell death and eventual deterioration of the tendon. A key part of this research involves characterizing exactly what constitutes healthy tendon structure and function.
May 9, 2013
Jason Inzana Wins 2013 Alice L. Jee Award
Jason Inzana, Ph.D. candidate in Professor Hani Awad's Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering laboratory, has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2013 Alice L. Jee Young Investigator Award. For winning this award, Jason will have the honor of an invited presentation of a poster entitled
Skeletally Immature Mice are More Susceptible than Mature Mice to the Detrimental Effects of High Fat Diet on Cancellous Bone in the Distal Femurat the 42nd International Sun Valley Workshop poster session in Sun Valley, Idaho, in August 2013.
March 15, 2013
The University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding for orthopaedic research, according to data released by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
The URMC Center for Musculoskeletal Research (CMSR) received $4.86 million in peer-reviewed NIH research grants in 2012, surpassing institutions such as Washington University, Johns Hopkins and Duke University. At a time when research dollars are becoming increasingly scarce, the CMSR upped its funding by 30 percent over the previous year.
This is a testament to the caliber of URMC's orthopaedic research endeavors and our stellar class of investigators,said Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research and the Burton Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedics.
Our funding success is due in large part to a programmatic organizational design, a strong emphasis on collaboration across departments, and the diverse research interests of our faculty. It is clearly a case of the sum being greater than its parts.
March 6, 2013
Hani Awad receives an Established Investigator grant from the MTF
Hani Awad, Ph.D., has received a 3-year, $300,000 grant from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) for an Established Investigator research project entitled
Teriparatide and Allograft Cartilage Derived Matrix for Regenerative Repair of Articular Cartilage.The funded preclinical study will investigate the hypothesis that parathyroid hormone (PTH) therapy can enhance repair of knee cartilage defects grafted with a novel cartilage allograft derived matrix (CDM) compared to standard surgical methods currently in clinical practice. For more information please visit the Awad Lab.
January 27, 2013
Youssef Farhat, a BME MD/PhD student in the Awad Lab, has won first place in the Orthopaedic Research Society Video Outreach Competition for his 3-minute video raising awareness of Orthopaedic research in a way that is enjoyable and easy to understand.
His video was the only entry from the University of Rochester. Winners were determined by vote of members of the ORS. Youssef's own research is aimed at reducing or eliminating scar tissue in hands. But in his film
Who Cares About Orthopaedic Research?, Farhat explains that orthopaedic conditions like fractures, arthritis, back pain, and cancer, have an impact on nearly everyone at some point from birth to old age. He works in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at the UR Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, and is pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering in the lab of Hani A. Awad, Ph.D.
May 17, 2012
BME/ChE Professors Receive Provost Multidisciplinary Award
March 30, 2012
Two current BME and Chemical Engineering students and a BME alumna have received prestigious National Science Foundation Research Fellowships. BME graduate student, Jason Inzana (Awad Lab), Michael Baranello, a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student in the Benoit Lab, and Molly Boutin, an alumnus of the Benoit lab (undergraduate research assistant), were among those who received the fellowships.
Selection for these awards is based on the students' outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. The fellowship, which is part of a federally sponsored program, provides three years of graduate study support for students pursing doctoral degrees. The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities.
September 21, 2011
A medication already approved to build bone mass in patients with osteoporosis also builds cartilage around joints and could potentially be repurposed to treat millions of people suffering from arthritis, according to orthopaedic researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
The study authors hope their laboratory findings, published in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine, will set the stage for the first human clinical trials to test human parathyroid hormone (brand name: Forteo) in this growing patient population.
July 12, 2010
Associate Professors Andrew Berger (Optics) and Hani Awad (BME) were among the recipients of a 2010-2011 Provost Multidisciplinary Award (PMA) for a study entitled
Noninvasive optical monitoring of bone degradation in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study will develop a noninvasive optical method of measuring bone fragility in genetically modified mice developing severe RA as they receive both anti-inflammatory medication and complementary drugs that try to preserve bone health. By providing a better way of tracking bone fragility in living animals, this work will generate new understanding of how bone disorders develop and how medicines can treat them more effectively in both animals and humans.
September 12, 2009
An existing osteoporosis drug is the first ever found to prevent cartilage loss from osteoarthritis following injury to a joint, and may also regenerate some cartilage that has been lost to osteoarthritis, according to an early study presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Denver. While the study was in mice, the model closely mimics human osteoarthritis that develops following knee injuries, according to the study authors.
June 18, 2009
Dr. Awad Receives a NIH Grant Award
Dr. Hani Awad has received funding from the NIH to support a 5 year study that seeks to develop a tissue engineering-based solution to debilitating adhesions that are frequently encountered with flexor tendon reconstructive surgery. The funded research will evaluate the interplay between pro- and anti-scarring factors to identify therapeutic targets for this problem. The studies will also investigate the efficacy of using allografts and gene therapy in eradicating adhesions and restoring the joint's range of motion. The new grant will expand this area of research, which has been previously funded by grants from the Orthopaedic Research Education Foundation (OREF) and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).
March 18, 2009
Ten scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have been awarded more than $6.8 million by the Empire State Stem Cell Board. The grants are for a wide range of research programs in the fields of neurological disorders, cancer, musculoskeletal diseases, the blood system, and efforts to understand the fundamental mechanics of stem cell biology.
Stem cell research for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving field that holds great promise for the 21st century. Drs. Hani Awad, Laura Calvi, Edward Puzas, Edward Schwarz, Xinping Zhang, Dirk Bohmann, James Palis, Richard Waugh and others have obtained funding for stem cell research to further their efforts in this area that include: understanding the molecular genetic characteristic of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), how to expand MSCs in vitro and in vivo, methods to impregnate matrices with MSCs to tissue engineer bone and cartilage, and how to image labeled MSCs.
February 25, 2009
Tony Chen Presents Two Papers at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society
Tony Chen, Ph.D. Candidate, presented two papers at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, NV (February 22 - 25, 2009). The papers he presented were:
- Chen T, Jeffries R, Zuscik M, Awad H. Anabolic Effects of TGF-beta1 and Low Oxygen on Bioreactor-Cultivated Tissue Engineered Cartilage, and
- Chen T, Zuscik M, Awad H. Interstitial Flow Produces a Superficial Zone-Like Layer in Tissue Engineered Cartilage.
June 29, 2008
Laura Yanoso Scholl wins Award at the SBC 2008 meeting
Laura Yanoso Scholl won the First Prize in the MS Student Poster Competition at the Summer Bioengineering Conference (June 25-29, 2008), Marco Island, FL, for her paper and poster entitled
Evaluation of Poly-Lactic Acid/Beta-Ticalcium Phosphate Scaffolds as Segmental Bone Graft Substitutes.
June 16, 2007
David Reynolds Wins Award at the 2007 TERMIS Meeting
David Reynolds won First Prize in the Ph.D. student competition at the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) meeting in Toronto (June 13-16, 2007) for his paper and poster entitled
Novel Measurement of Bone Graft-to-Host Union Using CT Imaging: Implications for Biomechanical Strength.David competed with 250 student applicants and along with the honor of placing first he won a $1,000 cash prize.
April 1, 2007
BME Assistant Professor Hani Awad received this award, along with the research group from his alma mater led by Dr. David Butler. The team was recognized for their research and manuscript on
Functional Tissue Engineering for Tendon Repair: A Multidisciplinary Strategy Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Bioscaffolds and Mechanical Stimulation.This is the highest research award given by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
- Parathyroid hormone 1-34 enhances extracellular matrix deposition and organization during flexor tendon repair. J Orthop Res. In press. (2014 Sep 29).
- TGF-beta1 Suppresses Plasmin and MMP Activity in Flexor Tendon Cells via PAI-1: Implications for Scarless Flexor Tendon Repair. J Cell Physiol. In press. (2014 Jun 24).