Congratulating Ms. Aiswaria Padmanabhan on Completing a Master’s Degree

AiswariaCongratulations to IRE student Aiswaria, who successfully defended her master’s thesis on August 6, 2015. Her work was titled “Evaluation of biodegradability and cell functionality of injectable glycol chitosan hydrogel.”

Aiswaria wrote her thesis under the supervision of Dr. Lakshmi S. Nair as part of the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program at UConn.

Eric James Successfully Defends Thesis

Eric James and Dr. Lakshmi S. Nair On August 5, Eric N. James, a member of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, “Post-Transcriptional Regulation in Osteoblast Using Localized Delivery of microRNAs from Nanofibers.” Eric wrote his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Lakshmi S. Nair as part of Skeletal, Craniofacial and Oral Biology Graduate Program. Members of his committee also included Drs. Anne Delany and Yusuf Khan.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Eric!

IRE Faculty Member Edits Textbook on Regenerative Engineering

A new textbook entitled Injectable Hydrogels for Regenerative Engineering edited by UConn’s Lakshmi Nair, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, focuses on synthetic approaches towards developing injectable hydrogels, and the clinical implications and applications of injectable hydrogels for engineering various tissues. The chapters of the book are contributed by the leading researchers in academia, surgeons, and industry leaders. In this book, readers can find detailed information on applications of the hydrogels to regenerate many issues, such as neural tissue, articular cartilage, and cardiac tissue.

New Regenerative Engineering Textbook

Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues and InterfacesThe Institute for Regenerative Engineering recently published a new textbook, Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues and Interfaces. Published by Woodhead Publishing Ltd, this comprehensive book looks at individual musculoskeletal tissues as well as tissue interfaces. Early chapters cover various fundamentals of biomaterials and scaffolds, types of cells, growth factors, and mechanical forces, moving on to discuss tissue-engineering strategies for bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, meniscus, and muscle, as well as progress and advances in tissue vascularization and nerve innervation of the individual tissues. Late chapters present information on musculoskeletal tissue interfaces. As the chief editor, I want to express my gratitude first and foremost to all our contributors and especially, my co-editors, Drs. Joseph Freeman and Syam Nukavarapu, for their tireless efforts and time to edit this book.

Congratulations to Dr. Paiyz Mikael

Dr. Paiyz Mikael presentingOn April 10th, Paiyz Mikael successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis and completed her work with the Institute for Regenerative Engineering. Paiyz joined the Institute under the guidance of Dr. Syam Nukavarapu as part of UConn’s Biomedical Engineering Program. Her thesis focused on developing mechanically superior polymeric-carbon nanotube composite scaffolds for the regeneration of segmental bone defects.

Congratulations Paiyz!

2nd Women in Surgery Lectureship

2nd Women in Surgery LectureshipOn March 6th, UConn Health hosted the second Women in Surgery Lectureship with guest lecturer Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, Director of Pediatric Surgical Oncology and Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Pediatrics at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The lectureship, co-sponsored by CICATS and the Department of Surgery, was moderated by Dr. Linda Barry, CICATS COO and Assistant Director.

Dr. Hayes-Jordan is the only surgeon in North America to perform hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion with chemotherapy (HIPEC), a heated chemotherapy procedure for the treatment of children with rare abdominal cancers. In addition, she is the principal investigator for three phase 1 and one phase 2 investigator-initiated trials. She also leads a basic science laboratory studying lung metastasis and sarcomas. Dr. Hayes-Jordan’s lecture focused on her pioneering surgical and academic experience in performing the HIPEC procedure. Through rigorous analysis of HIPEC data, she has refined and improved the procedure, identifying those patients best suited to benefit from it. Dr. Hayes-Jordan provided case presentations, including in-depth analyses of some specific patients’ diagnoses and treatments.

Following her lecture, the Women in Surgery Interest Group luncheon provided a unique opportunity for students to discuss their interests, future career paths and academic track with Dr. Hayes-Jordan.

We thank Dr. Hayes-Jordan for giving so much of her time to inform, educate and inspire the faculty and student body. We look forward to following the future of her research and career.

Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair

Anubhuti Mathur, a student at Glastonbury High School who currently shadows in Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar’s laboratory, has earned top honors in two prestigious science and engineering competitions. Anubhuti earned second place in the Physical Science division of the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair. Of the 600+ participants in this fair, she was among the six selected to represent Connecticut at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair this month in Los Angeles.

Earlier in the year, Anubhuti competed in the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Here, she was one of fifteen selected from a pool of over 80 candidates for the oral competition. Anubhuti presented her research, “The Synthesis and Characterization of EGCG – PLGA Conjugates and Mixtures” to a panel of judges and an audience of her peers. She was awarded third place and the right to present her work at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Washington, DC in April.

We firmly believe in Anubhuti’s ability to both conduct high-level research and to effectively present her work is essential to her training as a future scientist or engineer. Congratulations from everyone in the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, Anubhuti!

2014 Healthcare and Science Stars of Tomorrow Career Symposium

On March 8th, I gave the keynote speech at the symposium sponsored by the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society. My talk focused on choosing careers in the various fields in healthcare and the sciences. Over 600 ethnically diverse students representing more than 25 high schools in Palm Beach, Okeechobee, and Martin counties attended the symposium. The students met healthcare professionals and representatives from various academic institutions, exploring career options through lectures, exhibits, live demonstrations, and multimedia sources. The T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society is comprised of dedicated healthcare professionals working together to improve health and wellness, access to quality care, academic and career opportunities, for underserved populations. I want to thank the members and, in particular, Dr. Roger Duncan for inviting me to participate in this wonderful event.
T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society
T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society

Regenerative Engineering Textbook

Regenerative Engineering book coverThe Institute for Regenerative Engineering has launched a textbook entitled Regenerative Engineering. It explores the development and examination of vital organs and tissue types, addressing concerns as they relate to the regenerative engineering of various organ tissues, vascular tissues, bone, ligament, neural tissue, and the interfaces between tissues. I would like to thank all of the authors for their outstanding contributions. I also thank my mentor, Dr. Robert S. Langer of MIT who contributed the foreword. In addition, I value Dr. Yusuf Khan’s time and effort in putting together this textbook.

Member Spotlight on the AAAS Website

Earlier this year, I received the 2012 Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for mentoring students in biomedical engineering. As a follow-up to that, Dr. Aira Nouri asked me to participate in a brief discussion about my views on the importance of mentoring. Our conversation has been posted on the AAAS website. Mentoring is, for me, one of the most important legacies we leave behind us; and I urge everyone to share both their knowledge and themselves with those who will follow and continue the work we’ve begun.