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Fall 2017 Swanson School Bioengineering eNews

Message from the chair

Sanjeev G. Shroff, PhD

On behalf of our faculty, staff and students, I am happy to present you with the Department of Bioengineering’s Fall 2017 E-Newsletter. The current academic year has been eventful so far, and I am excited to share some of this information with you.

To read my full message, please click here.


Sanjeev G. Shroff, PhD
Distinguished Professor and Chair

Understanding Addiction in the Adolescent Mind

Several studies have provided strong evidence that adolescents—people in their teens to early twenties—have a higher vulnerability than adults to addictive substances like cocaine. To understand the origin of the age effect requires a sensor to effectively measuring how cocaine interacts with different parts of the brain over time.


An Engineer’s Guide to the Embryo

National Institutes of Health Award Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering a Grant to Study Tissue Mechanics in Developing Embryos.

In roughly 48 hours, the single cell of the fertilized frog egg will undergo dramatic change to develop vital body parts like muscles, a skeleton, eyes, a heart, and a tadpole tail. Scientists have been studying this process to better understand human development, birth defects, and cancer and to advance technologies like organoid generation and cell replacement therapy.


Bioengineering's BodyExplorer research to be featured at first annual ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival

BodyExplorer is a next-generation medical simulator designed to enhance the ability of healthcare trainees to learn anatomy and physiology and practice treating patients though naturalistic interaction with an augmented reality-enhanced, full-body simulated patient.

This project was led by researchers: Joseph Samosky, Douglas Nelson, and John O'Donnell.


Technology developed by Bioengineering's Dr. William Federspiel set for pivotal clinical trials

ALung Receives IDE Approval to Conduct VENT-AVOID Trial of the Hemolung RAS for the US Market.

ALung Technologies, Inc., today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to conduct a pivotal clinical trial of the Hemolung® Respiratory Assist System for the treatment of adults with severe acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The FDA’s approval of the IDE makes ALung’s VENT-AVOID Trial the first pivotal trial of extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) for treating patients with COPD exacerbations.


Pitt’s Coulter Program awards $650,000 to six teams developing novel biomedical technology

The University of Pittsburgh Coulter Translational Research Partners II Program awarded grants totaling $650,000 to six translational research teams through its most recent funding cycle. The new funded projects include a biomarker for identifying intracranial hemorrhage, a biosensor platform for detecting cardiac events, a drug delivery platform for preventing sexually transmitted infections, a device to improve viability of donor livers for transplantation, a novel peripheral IV placement catheter, and a significantly improved surgical retractor.


Sending the Right Signals

Pitt Bioengineer Receives $338K Award to Develop ‘Smart Biomaterials’ Capable of Reprogramming Mammalian Cell Signaling.

Through a process called cell signaling, cells collaborate on necessary functions such as responding to changes in the environment, fighting off threats to the body, or regulating the basic processes that keep the body alive. Cells work much like computers carrying out functions and use cell signaling over a vast network. Also much like computers, cells can be reprogrammed to change their behavior.


Keeping the Beat

NIH continues Pitt’s Cardiovascular Bioengineering Training Program with Five-Year, $1.9 Million Award

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has renewed funding for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering’s Cardiovascular Bioengineering Training Program (CBTP). The program - which educates students who are interested in cardiovascular research and pursuing a PhD in bioengineering - will receive nearly $1.9 million over the next five years.


President Obama Impressed With Pitt's Neuroprosthetics

During President Barack Obama's visit to the University for the White House Frontiers Conference, he stopped to shake Nathan Copeland's brain-controlled robotic hand.

Research on the sensory component of this technology is headed by our secondary faculty member, Dr. Robert Gaunt.

Read more coverage from the Brain Institute.

Main Photo Credit: President Obama with Nathan Copeland, White House Frontiers Conference. Photographer: Michael Henninger. Copyright ©, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2016, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Bioengineering is Hiring!

The Department of Bioengineering has an open tenure/tenure-stream faculty position in synthetic or systems biology.   More info >

The Kumta Lab is seeking a post-doctoral associate in the area of biosensors for blood based biomarker detection.   More info >

The Human Movement & Balance Lab within the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh is seeking a post-doctoral associate.   More info >

The Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory is seeking a post-doctoral associate in vascular tissue engineering.   More info >

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