RMT Podcast #48 – Joan Schanck

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Joan Schanck.  Ms. Schanck is the Director, Education and Workforce Development at the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative (PTEI).  PTEI’s educational programs provide a range of experiences and tools for those who are interested in science education.  Beginning with K-12 and continuing through undergraduate and postdoctoral research, PTEI is helping to prepare a trained workforce to support a growing regenerative medicine industry. Through its programs PTEI provides hands-on opportunities to explore the many educational and career paths available to next-generation scientists and those who will work with them.

Ms. Schanck discusses the range of established programs and new initiatives at PTEI that provide opportunities to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the capabilities and opportunities that tissue engineering and regenerative medicine offer.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
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RMT Podcast #47 – Phil Campbell, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. Phil G. Campbell.  Dr. Campbell is a Research Professor, Institute of Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  Also he has academic appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, and the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center at CMU.

Dr. Campbell’s research is focused on the development of “tool sets” that will be resources for regenerative medicine research and clinical therapies.  In the podcast he discusses his work on methodologies and systems that will be required for cell expansion on a commercial vs. a research basis, and how his research is addressing those needs.

He also shares some insight into the use of inkjet printing technologies to print tissue engineered constructs using “bio-inks” vs. the traditional inks used in such printers.  These tool sets are proving to be a significant resource in the study of cell growth on tissue engineered constructs.

Finally, Dr. Campbell discusses his strong commitment to science-based education: from elementary students to senior citizens.

For more information on Dr. Campbell, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #43 – Jennifer Ogilvie, MD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Jennifer Braemar Ogilvie, MD.  Dr. Ogilvie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Section of Endocrine Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and a faculty member at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Ogilvie discusses her clinical focus on endocrine surgery and her current regenerative medicine research interests that focus on the development of tissue-engineered endocrine organs, in particular bioengineered parathyroid and adrenal glands. Also, her initial studies on the development of a tumor vaccine and her strong commitment to student mentoring are discussed.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #41 – David Vorp, PhD

Dr. David Vorp is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering. He is also the Director of the Vascular Surgery and Vascular Biomechanics Research Lab. His research focuses on the assessment of mechanical factors in the genesis and progression of vascular diseases such as arterial aneurysms, atherosclerosis, vascular graft failure, etc., and in the development of tissue-engineered blood vessels. Dr. Vorp also describes some of the new initiatives of his lab such as the use of tissue engineering to treat urethral dysfunction.

On the podcast, Dr. Vorp introduces his innovative approaches to treat vascular disease and shares the status of these emerging technologies. He also shares his insights on Bioengineering education at the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information on Dr. Vorp, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #42 – SYIS-TERMIS

Regenerative Medicine Today had an opportunity to visit with the leadership of the North American Chapter of the Students and Young Investigators Section of the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (SYIS-TERMIS) during the 2007 TERMIS North America Meeting that was held in Toronto in June 2007.

At the time of the meeting, the following SYIS-TERMIS North American Section Officers participated in the discussion:

  • Tiffany Sellaro – Chair (now Past Chair)
  • Alison McGuigan – Treasurer
  • Jolene Valentin – Secretary
  • Masoud Yeganegi – Scientific and Professional Development Committee Chair
  • Doug Baumann – Meeting and Fundraising Committee Chair

For more information on the participants and their responsibilities and areas of study, please click here.

On the podcast, the SYIS-TERMIS-NA leadership reviews the vision and the operations of the Chapter and the benefits of students and post-doctoral fellows joining the Society.

For more information on TERMIS, click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #39 – Kim Jones, PhD

Dr. Kim S. Jones visits Regenerative Medicine Today and gives us an insight into her exciting research in regenerative medicine. Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University.

Her research interests center on the interactions between tissue engineering and the host response. Tissue engineering is intended to repair, replace or regenerate diseased or damaged tissue.  Typically, tissue-engineered constructs are composed of a biomaterial scaffold and functional cells. Such constructs are intended to supplement the supply of organs for transplant. Examples include vascular grafts, skin, artificial kidneys, livers and hearts. Dr. Jones research uses prototype systems to focus on two fundamental issues.

  • Host Response to Tissue-Engineered Constructs
  • Effect of Host Response on Remodeling in Tissue Engineering

When a body receives an implant, it responds with scarring, inflammation, wound healing or regeneration. It is thus inevitable that tissue-engineered constructs will be remodeled once implanted. Her goal is to divert the remodeling response toward regeneration, but this may be confounded by the nature of the implant. Many of the mediators and cells involved in immune and inflammatory responses are also involved in wound healing and regeneration. As such, we expect that methods used to minimize damaging responses will interact with regeneration. Understanding this interaction is critical in order to direct intelligent design for the next generation of tissue engineering.  On the podcast, Dr. Jones describes her work and shares her vision for the future.

Details of Dr. Jones’ work are available here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #38 – Anshu Mathur, PhD

Dr. Anshu Mathur visits Regenerative Medicine Today and introduces us to her exciting research on regenerative medicine. Dr. Mathur is an Assistant Director for Research at the Laboratory of Reparative Biology and Bioengineering at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Mathur’s research objective focuses on elucidating the cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in tissue engineered constructs developed from biologically derived materials for the treatment of chronic dermal wounds, where mechanical coupling of cell-matrix interface leads to contraction of the wound and cell-cell coupling is required to vascularize and activate normal scarring.

Her current projects are addressing the following areas:

  • To elucidate the therapeutic effects of chitosan-fibroin biopolymer blends on matrix-remodeling in order to transform the mechanical environment of the wound, redistribute cell focal adhesions, and influence mechanical properties of the cell and the matrix.
  • To exploit silk fibroin biopolymer micro/nano structure to tissue-engineer a scaffold that supports angiogenesis in order to provide blood supply to a healing wound.
  • To assess the synergistic effects of emodin loaded chitosan-fibroin nanospheres on chronic dermal wounds and scars by examining the RTK signaling to matrix adhesion sites in fibroblasts using TIRFM, thus providing a novel way to study therapeutic effects of drugs.

Additionally, Dr. Mathur describes a new academic program in bioengineering that is under development at the M.D. Anderson/University of Texas at Austin.

Details of Dr. Mathur’s work are available here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #36 – Alejandro Nieponice, MD, PhD

Alejandro Nieponice, MD, PhD visits regenerative medicine today and discusses his studies related to tissue engineering and translational medicine. Dr. Alejandro Nieponice is currently a Research Assistant Professor of the department of surgery at University of Pittsburgh and faculty of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is also a surgical associate and director of the Clinical Translation Unit at the Austral University Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Nieponice’s main goal is to foster clinical translation of novel tissue engineering approaches by bridging his surgical and research backgrounds. To accomplish that, he has promoted the creation of a Clinical Translation Unit within the operative room at the Austral University Hospital, providing full cell culture capabilities to facilitate clinical translation of cell-based technologies.

Details of Dr. Nieponice’s work are available here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #35 – Milica Radisic, PhD

Dr. Milica Radisic visits Regenerative Medicine Today and discusses her studies related to functional tissue engineering. Dr. Radisic is an Assistant Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto.

In the podcast, Dr. Radisic discusses the research in the Laboratory for Functional Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto; focus areas include:

  • Biomimetic approach to cardiac tissue engineering
  • Development of functional, clinically sized (1-5 mm thick), compact cardiac constructs with physiologically relevant cell densities (108 cells/cm3)
  • Advanced bioreactors for functional tissue engineering of myocardium
  • Biophysical modulation of engineered myocardium
  • Separation of heterogeneous cell populations (MEMS)

For more information on Dr. Radisic, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #33 – David Sacks, PhD

Dr. Michael Sacks visits Regenerative Medicine Today and discusses his work on the characterization of cardiac tissue and the various alternatives-now and in the future-for the repair of heart valves.

Dr. Sacks is the director of the Engineered Tissue Mechanics and Mechanobiology Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh where the research focuses on the characterization and modeling of the structure-function-biomechanics of native and engineered soft tissues, and linking these studies to the underlying cellular mechanobiology.  One of the areas of interest is on the mechanical behavior and function of mitral heart valves, including the development of the first constitutive (stress-strain) models for these tissues using a structural approach.

In the podcast, Dr. Sacks discusses:

  • The roles/demands of different heart valves
  • The advantages of a pediatric tissue engineered heart valve
  • Mechanical and bio-prosthetic heart valves; capabilities and limitations
  • Clinical perspective prosthetic valves
  • Repair of valves vs. replacement
  • Tissue characterization

Dr. Sacks shares his vision on the state of the art and his perspective on the future opportunities for heart valve repair for children and for adults.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #29 – Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD

Dr. Stephen Badylak revisits Regenerative Medicine Today to share updates on his exciting studies on tissue engineering.  In February 2006, in Podcast #3 described his use of tissue engineering materials that helps heal skin wounds, torn tendons, injured rotator cuffs, hiatal hernias, and other soft tissue. In that podcast, Dr. Badylak recounted how he first discovered SIS (or small intestinal submucosa), the world-wide effort that helped to usher SIS from the lab to clinical use, and how the material works.

Today, Dr. Badylak describes the work of his lab and collaboration with other colleagues to use tissue engineering to:

  • Regenerate a diseased or damaged esophagus, and
  • Technology that may lead to the regeneration of damaged or severed digits or limbs

Dr. Badylak is a professor at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh. For more information about Dr. Badylak, please click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

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RMT Podcast #24 – Alan Russell, PhD

As Regenerative Medicine Today celebrates its first anniversary, we welcome back our first guest from December 2005: Dr. Alan Russell, director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

As a pioneer of and expert in regenerative medicine, Dr. Russell is well qualified to comment on the status and future of this fascinating and rapidly emerging field . In this podcast, Dr. Russell addresses:

  • the history of the emergence of regenerative medicine, from over-hyped laboratory results, to failed medical devices, to successful clinical applications;
  • the role of governments in the advancing the state-of- the-art and the clinical use of regenerative medicine technologies;
  • initiatives to assist soldiers (and, ultimately, the civilian population) who have suffered massive loss of tissue due to trauma, and;
  • the status of the professional society that serves the scientists who are developing regenerative medicine technologies.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #20 – William Wagner, PhD

In our last two podcasts we learned about the bioengineering and clinical use of artificial heart technology. In today’s podcast, you’ll hear about another approach to treatment for heart failure using lab-grown tissues. Dr. William Wagner is working to reconstruct damaged arteries and veins with scaffolds, and is leading a team that is developing a tissue engineered cardiac patch that could help to strengthen heart muscle that has been damaged by a heart attack. Dr. Wagner also will tell us about his work to improve the interface between artificial devices and the body’s tissues, and about a new imaging technique his lab is working on that could help physicians view whether a transplanted heart has been rejected without performing a biopsy.

Dr. William Wagner is a deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and associate professor of surgery, chemical engineering, and bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. To learn more about Dr. Wagner’s research, please click here.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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RMT Podcast #15 – Kevin Shakesheff, PhD and Nicholas Rhodes, BSc, MSc, PhD

In podcast #15, we’ll meet two researchers with very different approaches to tissue regeneration. We met both at the 2006 Regenerate World Congress in April.

First we’ll hear from Dr. Kevin Shakesheff  of the University of Nottingham. He is developing new scaffolds from a familiar material: polylactic acid, the same stuff that makes up absorbable sutures. Dr. Shakesheff imagines outfitting surgeons with a syringe full of polylactic acid that is enhanced with growth factors — or even the patient’s own cells — to inject into an area that needs help to heal.

Our second interviewee, Dr. Nicholas Rhodes of the University of Liverpool, would like to do away with scaffolds altogether. Rather than introduce bioengineered materials into patients, he’d rather persuade a patient’s cells to do their own bioengineering. Dr. Rhodes is prompting regeneration by harnessing and directing the body’s natural inflammatory response.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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RMT Podcast #13 – Professor Jons Hilborn and Ivan Martin, PhD

Bone Tissue Engineering

In podcast #13, we talk with Professor Jöns Hilborn and Dr. Ivan Martin, two experts in bone tissue engineering who attended the 2006 Regenerate World Congress in April.

Professor Hilborn of the Department of Materials Chemistry at Sweden’s Uppsala University is engineering cells to produce customized extracellular matrices, which his lab uses as scaffolds to guide the growth of new bone – eventually for the repair of skull and dental defects in humans. Professor Hilborn’s lab also develops new biomaterials that better match the natural tissues in which they are implanted. Finally, Professor Hilborn discusses the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), which he serves as President-Elect.

Dr. Martin of the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland uses a bioreactor – a sort of incubator – to encourage the generation of cartilage and bone. In a clinical trial soon to start, Dr. Martin’s team will seed ceramic particles with patients’ own bone marrow-derived progenitor cells, nurture them inside a bioreactor, then use the material to repair damaged disks in the spine. Dr. Martin hopes to expand this approach so that it can be used to span large bone breaks and defects, and he has an ambitious plan to make affordable bioreactors a standard part of the orthopedist’s toolbox.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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