Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP
The Center for Assistive Technologies in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is comprised of rehabilitation engineers, physical and occupational therapists, and technicians which closely collaborate with a regional and national network of physicians, vocational counselors, educators, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, rehabilitation technicians, consumers, and advocates in the provision of assistive technological services. Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP, is Director of the Center for Assistive Technologies.
Center for BioengineeringPhone: 412-383-9713Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Bioengineering was founded in 1987 to foster the application of the University's growing portfolio of research expertise in the areas of biotechnology and bioengineering. Its mission includes the encouragement of the development of cross-disciplinary research teams by providing laboratory space and interdisciplinary educational programs. The Center site is located one mile from the main University of Pittsburgh campus. The Department of Bioengineering occupies about 12,600 sq. ft. of research space. The following bioengineering laboratories are currently housed at the Center: Musculoskeletal Research Center, MSRC, (Dr. Savio Woo), Cardiovascular Systems Laboratory (Dr. Sanjeev Shroff), Bioengineering Methods and Applications Laboratory and BioTransport Laboratory (Dr. Jack Patzer), Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory (Dr. David Vorp), Cell Migration Laboratory (Dr. Partha Roy), Computational Biomechanics Laboratory (Dr. Spandan Maiti) , Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory (Drs. Volker Musahl and Richard Debski) and Molecular Biological and Biophysical Core Facilities (Department). All of these laboratories are described further below.
Bioengineering Methods and Applications LaboratoryThis facility enables students to participate in an undergraduate laboratory course that integrates the knowledge and skills from three core Bioengineering courses including: Biotransport Phenomena; Mechanical Principles of Biologic Systems; and Biothermodynamics. Equipment utilized in the laboratory includes an ATS 1101 Materials Testing Device, adult and pediatric blood oxygenation flow loops incorporating Biomedicus blood pumps, two ABL5 Blood Gas Analyzers, and several dialysis systems. The laboratory is designed to accommodate 24 students in a session.
Bio Transport LaboratoryThis laboratory is under the direction of Jack Patzer, PhD and focuses on research related to the application of BioThemodynamics and BioTransport Phenomena (principles of heat, momentum, and mass transport) to understanding the properties of physiological systems, medical devices, and bioreactor engineering. Current investigations involve the application bound solute dialysis (BSD) as a detoxification approach to support patients with liver failure, use of ischemia protective polymers (IPP) to mitigate ischemia/reperfusion injury in organ harvest and transplant, and wound perfusion/skin regeneration for patients with severe burns. Major equipment includes a Sun workstation for finite element analysis of fluid dynamics, spectrophotometers for colorimetric composition analysis, plate reader for colorimetric composition analysis, blood-gas analyzer, table-top refrigerated centrifuge, cell incubators, and Prisma dialysis machines. Other equipment includes multiple roller pumps, gas mass flow controllers, oscilloscope, electrochemistry controllers and analyzers.
Cardiovascular Systems LaboratoryThis laboratory is under the direction of Sanjeev Shroff, PhD and focuses on research related to cardiovascular mechano-energetics and structure-function relationships. This research utilizes a variety of biophysical, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and imaging techniques. The facility has: 1) setups for biophysical measurements at isolated heart, isolated muscle, and single cell levels (mechanics and intracellular calcium transients), 2) a cell-culture room (incubator, laminar flow hood, centrifuge, microscope), and 3) a wet lab which has equipment necessary to do protein biochemistry and molecular biology research.
Cell Migration LaboratoryThis research laboratory is under the direction of Partha Roy, PhD and offers graduate and undergraduate students the ability to participate in research related to molecular mechanisms of cell migration with emphasis in tumor metastasis. This research utilizes a variety of cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging techniques. The facility has: 1) a cell-culture room that is equipped with tissue culture incubators, laminar flow hood, centrifuge and a microscope, 2) a wet lab which has equipment necessary to do protein biochemistry and molecular biology research, and 3) a microscopy room that houses an IX-71 Olympus research grade inverted microscope and image acquisition system.
Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory (ORL)The mission of the Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory is the prevention of degenerative joint disease by improving diagnostic, repair, and rehabilitation procedures for musculoskeletal injuries using state-of-the-art robotic technology. Diarthrodial joint function is elucidated and the roles of the bony and soft tissues assessed. The technology in the laboratory includes novel robotic systems and the lab serves as a multi-disciplinary CORE facility with collaboration promoted between investigators. Co-Directors of the ORL are Richard E. Debski, Ph.D. and Volker Musahl, M.D.
Vascular Bioengineering Laboratoryhttp://www.engineering.pitt.edu/vorplab/Under the guidance of David A. Vorp PhD, our Vascular Biomechanics group performs both experimental and computational biomechanics studies on tubular tissues; recent studies have focused on aneurysms of the aorta (thoracic and abdominal) and cerebral arteries but we also have experience with the ureter, esophagus, and intestine. On the experimental end, we perform extensive mechanical testing of tissues including tensile and compression tests, indentation tests, perfusion tests, and dynamic mechanical tests. Using mechanical properties determined from experimental testing we build strain energy function models of these tissues and computationally analyze the progression of degenerative disease. We also work with imaging collaborators at the School of Medicine to obtain structural information on human blood vessels; the geometries of these tissues have allowed us to computationallymodel stress distributions and develop rupture potential indices. The Vascular Tissue Engineering group is developing an autologous tissue engineered vascular graft (TEVG) utilizing adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) seeded into tubular porous synthetic scaffolds. Utilizing our novel cell seeding device which applies rotation and vacuum to a lumenally infused cell suspension, we are able to seed our vascular grafts rapidly, evenly, and efficiently. Our TEVG has remained patent during rodent implantation, remodeling extensively in vivo towards a blood vessel-like architecture. A unique slant to our investigation in recent years has been testing AD-MSC from patients at high cardiovascular risk, such as diabetics and the elderly; determining if these patient populations will be suitable for autologous therapy will be critical in designing the next generation of vascular grafts.Pathologies of the vascular system are tightly linked to biomechanical alteration of the vessel wall during disease. By applying our strengths in computational and experimental biomechanics, image analysis, cellular and molecular biology, and tissue engineering, our research mission is to develop regenerative treatments for vascular diseases such as aortic aneurysm and coronary heart disease. In addition to our research mission, we aim to train the researchers of tomorrow using the most cutting-edge technology available. Ongoing projects in the lab include:• Assessing the mechanopathobiology of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysm• Creating a novel regenerative therapy for abdominal aortic aneurysm• Developing a human stem cell-based tissue engineered vascular graft• Characterizing the biomechanics of cerebral aneurysms, including changes that occur with coil embolism therapy• Using a novel ex-vivo perfusion system to simulate the biomechanical milieu of vascular diseases• Extending our biomechanical analysis to other tubular structures such as the urinary tract, intestine, and esophagus
Prashant Kumta, PhD
The Center for Complex Engineered Multifunctional Materials (CCEMM), directed by Prashant N. Kumta, PhD, and with faculty participation of Ipsita Banerjee, PhD and Spandan Maiti, PhD,; allows graduate, post-doctoral associates, research scholars, visiting faculty, and undergraduate students to participate in variety of novel and innovative materials for energy storage, generation, and advanced materials for applied biomaterials research fields for tissue regeneration and stem cell translation. Some of the current research activities include (i). Bio-functionalization and degradation of carbon nano-tubes for tissue engineering applications, (ii). Responsive biosensors for implants, (iii). Development of novel biodegradable and biocompatible metallic implants for craniofacial and orthopedic application, (iv). Nano-structured calcium phosphate based bone cements for bone regeneration process, (v). Calcium phosphate nano-particles for targeted gene delivery, (vi). Biocompatible and degradable polymers and calcium phosphate-polymer composites for controlled delivery systems of proteins, peptides, drugs and gene. (vii). Functional inorganic-organic and metal-organic coatings for tissue regeneration. (viii). Advanced materials for a variety of Li-ion, Mg-ion, and Na-ion, and fluoride battery chemistries. (ix) Advanced non-noble metal catalysts and reduced noble metal containing systems for hydrogen generation and electrolysis, and fuel cells. (x) Advanced systems for supercapacitor applications. The lab has state of the art energy storage and biomaterials syntheses and processing capabilities and is equipped with wide variety of materials characterization tools (e.g. X-ray Diffractometer, Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectrophotometer, Specific Surface Area Analyzer, Mercury Porosimeter, Helium Pycnometer, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Absorbance Spectrometer, thermal analysis, Apparent-Tap Density Analyzer, electrochemical potentiostats, fuel cell test systems, etc.). This lab also has cell culture rooms equipped with biosafety cabinets, incubators, centrifuges, Fluorescence microscope, Optical plate reader, Atomic Fore Microscopy, etc.
Center for Faculty ExcellenceAnne Robertson, PhDPhone: 412-383-4080Email: email@example.comThe mission of the Center for Faculty Excellence is to enhance the ability of tenure track faculty in the SSoE to navigate the tenure period- not just to manage it, but rather to exit this period with a foundation for continued academic excellence and leadership. Recruitment of a junior faculty member is one of the most exciting and high risk actions of an academic department. The stakes include a tremendous investment of financial resources and closure of an open position dedicated to a new direction of research in the department. These investments are made with the expectation that the junior faculty member will have a profound impact on the academic environment and research reputation of the school. The five year tenure clock starts ticking upon the faculty member's arrival. In successful cases, it signals the beginning of an intense period of transformation from a recent graduate to a respected leader of a flourishing, independently funded research program. However, in unsuccessful cases this junior faculty member, who was chosen over hundreds of his or her peers for the position, stumbles and fails to flourish during this challenging period.1. Program LE2AP- Leveraging Excellence in Engineering Assistant ProfessorsProgram LE2AP is an individualized program for the tenure track faculty, designed to enhance their ability to work effectively during the tenure track period as they lay the foundation for continued success after tenure review. The central components of Program LE2AP are listed on the upper side of the oval in Figure 1. Of these, the most Senior Mentoring Committees are particularly important.LE2AP Senior Mentoring CommitteesThe senior mentoring committee is formed of approximately 4 senior faculty members, at least one of whom is outside the department and is potentially at another university. These mentors provide scientificand strategic insights, professional connections, regular performance feedback and advocacy for the junior faculty member. The committee and junior faculty member meet approximately once per term in a formal meeting. During these senior mentoring meetings, the junior faculty members presents an updated CV including information about their research, teaching and service activities. The then work with their mentors to refine strategic plans including• Individualized Strategic Research Plan• Individualized Teaching Plan (including long range plan)• Individualized Visibility Plan2. Faculty ResourcesThe existing and planned faculty resources of the Center for Faculty Excellence include:• Website for the Center for Faculty Excellence - under development• New Faculty Guidebook of Resources, People and Timelines - under development• Center for Faculty Excellence Brochure- to be used for Faculty Recruitment and other applications - under developmentFaculty resources in the SSoE are also vital for the junior faculty and include• Grant Library for Engineering Faculty (CEF is contributing to development- which is driven by the Office of Research of the SSoE)• Grant Review Program (through Office of Research, CEF is contributing in a minor way to the development)• Tools for enhancing teaching effectiveness – The EERC provides these services.• Program Assessment Assistance- for example for broader impact of NSF (The EERC provides these services)3. Professional Development Programs and Workshops• Grant writing- Spring 2015- completed• Public speaking - planned• Strategic Planning in an Academic Setting - planned• Academic Writing - planned• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Evaluation- planned• Leadership Effectiveness - plannedHistory of the Center for Faculty Excellence:The Center for Faculty Excellence grew out of beta version of Program LE2AP that was formulated during the Fall of 2013 and launched within the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in January 2014. In an initial program survey in the Spring of 2014, the value of Program LE2AP was ranked 4.75 out of 5.0, with 5.0 being excellent and 4.0 being very good. The junior faculty were particularly enthusiastic about the new collegiality with their junior peers, their increased knowledge of the tenure process and optimism for their future. In the Summer 2014, Dean Holder invited the submission of a proposal to transition this MEMS centered program into a school wide center. Last October, the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) was approved by the Chairs, Vice Provosts and Dean. The Center was formally announced to the School on October 16th, 2014 and activities began in the new office in January 2015 with an administrative staff person joining the Center in February 2015.
Center for Industry StudiesBopaya Bidanda, PhD and Minerva Pilachowski
Phone: 412-624-9827Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/CIS/
The Center for Industry Studies supports multidisciplinary research that helps link scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry. Our activities and programs are motivated by the firm conviction that bringing engineers and social scientists together for research collaboration can lead to important advances in scholarship and produce research of significant practical value to industry. In building this community of scholars, the Center reaches out to faculty members from all of the social science disciplines and professional schools for research collaboration opportunities with faculty members in the Swanson School of Engineering. The Center also encourages communication between scholars and industry practitioners as a means of building partnerships that can enhance the impact of academic research, yield educational opportunities, and promote economic development.
Center for Medical InnovationAlan D. Hirschman, PhDEmail: email@example.com/cmi
The Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) works cooperatively with its partners in the Swanson School of Engineering, the Innovation Institute, Coulter Translation Research Partnership, and the CTSI at the Schools of Health Sciences to provide seed grants and advisory services to teams of clinicians and engineers who are interested in translating their concepts into commercial clinical innovations. Since its inception in 2011, the CMI has sponsored 37 early-stage projects with $635,000 equally funded between the Swanson School of Engineering and the Coulter TPII program. Five of these projects have received additional external funding at the $100K level to aid in their translation to commercial development. The majority of CMI-funded projects have resulted in new IP and some have attracted external funding. The CMI has also developed and deployed a Professional Master of Science in Bioengineering degree (Medical Product Engineering track), and a Professional Certificate in Medical Product Innovation. The educational program and early stage seed grant programs are linked to provide opportunities for students to utilize their skills in practical medical development projects with clinicians.