The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $140,000 to six research groups through its 2016 Round-1 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development.  Two of the six research groups include projects of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members—Justin Weinbaum, PhD, Marina Kameneva, PhD, and Jonathan Waters, MD.  The six latest funding proposals include developing a novel vascular access system, a shunt for treatment of fetal hydrocephalus in-utero, a system for stroke rehabilitation, a cell therapy for treatment of aortic aneurysm, a method for treatment of sickle cell anemia, and a novel mechanical device for use in general surgery.

The McGowan Institute projects are:

Minimally invasive delivery of therapeutic cells to abdominal aortic aneurysm:  Award to develop and perform preclinical testing of a new biological therapy for prevention and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Kory Blose
PhD candidate, Department of Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering

Justin Weinbaum, PhD
Assistant Professor Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering

Ryan McEnaney, MD
Division of Vascular Surgery, UPMC

John Curci, MD
Division of Vascular Surgery, UPMC

Reducing alloimmunization and sickle crisis in SCD patients using a novel method of replacing HbS with donor Hb in patient’s RBCs:  Continuation award to develop and test a new method for reconditioning the blood of sickle cell patients.

Marina V. Kameneva, PhD
Department of Surgery and Bioengineering
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Jonathan H. Waters, MD
Department of Anesthesiology & Bioengineering
Magee Womens Hospital

Mark Gartner, PhD
Department of Bioengineering
Swanson School of Engineering

CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare.

“This is our fifth year of providing pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.”

Read more…

University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering News Release