Pitt | Swanson Engineering
About Dr. David Vorp, PhD

Vorp Mechanical BenchDr. David Vorp is the John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Surgery, and the Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he is the Associate Dean for Research, Swanson School of Engineering. He also serves as a Director of the Center for Vascular Remodeling and Regeneration, the Co-Director of the Center for Medical Innovation, as well as the Director of the Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory.  

The research in Dr. Vorp’s lab focuses on the biomechanics, “mechanopathobiology,” regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering of tubular tissues and organs, predominantly the vasculature. He is currently studying the biomechanical progression of aortic aneurysms by modeling the mechanical forces that act on the degenerating vessel wall. He is developing a treatment strategy for abdominal aortic aneurysms by delivering adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to the periadventitial side of the aneurysm to inhibit the matrix degradation commonly seen in the disease progression and promote its regeneration. Lastly, he is designing a small diameter tissue engineered vascular graft to treat cardiovascular diseases. Here he utilizes adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells incorporated in a biodegradable polyurethane-based scaffold (produced by the Wagner Group) that undergoes substantial in vivo remodeling to develop a native-like blood vessel. Dr. Vorp has published more than 114 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and multiple proceedings papers and book chapters. His research has been supported by nearly $9 million in funding as principal investigator (PI), and an additional $4 million as collaborating investigator, from foundation and federal agencies, including the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Whitaker Foundation, Pittsburgh Foundation, and other sources.  He has several patents in the field of vascular bioengineering and is a co-founder of the start-up Neograft Technologies, Inc., a company that applies technology developed in Dr. Vorp’s laboratory relating to biodegradable support for arterial vein grafts.

In 2011 Dr. Vorp was recognized with the Van C. Mow Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), was twice awarded a Pitt Innovator Award, and received the Carnegie Life Sciences Award in 2013.  He served on the Executive Committee of the ASME Bioengineering Division (BED; 2006-2015), serving as ASME BED Chair from 2013-2014. Dr. Vorp was elected to the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) for two terms (2006-2009; 2009-2012), and is in his second elected term as BMES Secretary (2012-2014; 2014-2016), an executive post.  He is presently on the planning committee and Co-Program Chair of the World Congress of Biomechanics to be held July 2018.  In 2012, Dr. Vorp became the first non-MD President of the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology, and was re-elected for a second term in 2014.  Dr. Vorp is a Fellow of ASME, BMES and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.