On August 23rd, we were honored to have Joseph W. Freeman, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, as the first speaker in the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Seminar Series. Dr. Freeman delivered a talk entitled “Novel Approaches to Musculoskeletal Tissue Repair, Replacement, and Regeneration.” The Sackler Seminar Series is but one of several activities funded through our center endowed by the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, Dr. Freeman earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Freeman then joined my laboratory at the University of Virginia as a postdoctoral fellow. He worked on the use of novel biomaterials in bone regeneration, the development of new scaffolds for ligament repair, the use of hydrogels for ligament repair, and the design and construction of a braiding machine for ligament graft construction.
Dr. Freeman’s areas of research interest involve developing and evaluating new implantable scaffolds for the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues, use of molecular modeling to investigate collagen structure and function, and develop tumor engineering models.
I was pleased Dr. Freeman agreed to speak as part of the Sackler Seminar Series and enjoyed catching up with him. We look forward to bringing other innovative leaders to speak here at the Health Center.
Last month, the Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (JBT) published a special issue on nanobiomaterials for tissue engineering in North America edited by Dr. Lakshmi S. Nair, a faculty member in the Institute for Regenerative Engineering. This issue summarizes current perspectives on the use of nanobiomaterials, as well as evaluating other strategies such as stem cell technology for musculoskeletal regenerative engineering. The special issue has been published electronically by American Scientific Publishers.
In addition to editing this issue, Dr. Nair is currently co-editing the second edition of Nanotechnology and Tissue Engineering. Her current research focuses on developing regenerative biomaterials and drug/cell delivery strategy.
The 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.
I am happy to report that the Institute for Regenerative Engineering received a major award from the NSF last month. This is one of the largest grant efforts in the history of the UConn Health Center. This is also our second EFRI grant. To our knowledge, we are the only research group in the country to have two active EFRI grants.
The focus of EFRI program supports transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. The abstract of the award is posted on the NSF website.
As the Principal Investigator for the grant, I thank everyone involved in this application for their phenomenal work during the past several months in getting this grant successfully funded. I would especially like to thank the co-principal investigators and the senior personnel listed below. It was a great pleasure working with all of you in putting together this fine proposal.
Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar, Orthopaedic Surgery, UConn Health Center
Dr. Kevin Lo, Medicine, UConn Health Center
Dr. Yusuf Khan, Orthopaedic Surgery, UConn Health Center
Dr. David Goldhamer, Molecular and Cell Biology, UConn, Storrs
Dr. Pouran Faghri, Allied Health Sciences, UConn, Storrs
Dr. Nathan Swami, Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia