Research Team2023-09-21T14:35:20+00:00

Meet the Team

Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
Professor of Surgery

Dr. Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, and Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Badylak has practiced both veterinary and human medicine, and is now fully engaged in research. Dr. Badylak began his academic career at Purdue University in 1983, and subsequently held a variety of positions including service as the Director of the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center from 1995-1998. Dr. Badylak holds over 70 U.S. patents, 300 patents worldwide, has authored more than 400 scientific publications and 60 book chapters, and has recently edited a textbook entitled Host Response to Biomaterials. He has served as the Chair of several study sections at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is currently a member of the College of Scientific Reviewers for NIH. Dr. Badylak has either chaired or been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to several major medical device companies, and presently serves as chief scientific officer for ECM Therapeutics in addition to his professorial role at the University. More than 13 million patients have been treated with bioscaffolds developed in Dr. Badylak’s laboratory.

Dr. Badylak is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a member of the Society for Biomaterials, a charter member of the Tissue Engineering Society International, a past president of the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) and a Founding International Fellow of TERMIS.

Dr. Badylak’s major research interests include: 1.) Naturally Occurring Biomaterials, including Extracellular Matrix, and Host: Biomaterial Interactions; 2.) Developmental Biology and its Relationship to Regenerative Medicine; 3.) Relationship of the Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses to Tissue Regeneration; 4.) Clinical Translation of Regenerative Medicine; and 5.) Whole Organ and Tissue Reconstruction and Regeneration.

Professor (2003-present)
Dept. of Surgery University of Pittsburgh

Deputy Director (2003-present)
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Director (2003-present)
McGowan Center for Preclinical Studies

TERMIS President (2010-2012)

DVM (1976)
Purdue University

MS (1978)
Purdue University Clinical Pathology

PhD (1981)
Purdue University Anatomic Pathology

MD (1985)
Indiana University

Research Faculty and Staff

George Hussey, PhD

Dr. Hussey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms of matrix-induced constructive remodeling and immune modulation, with the broad goal of identifying and characterizing molecular targets to bias these responses. Dr. Hussey conducted his doctoral research in the Department of Cancer Biology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, his postdoctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry at the Medical University of South Carolina, and in Dr. Stephen Badylak’s laboratory at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Neill Turner, PhD

Neill Turner is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He is investigating the role of decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) in limb and muscle regeneration. He has extensive experience studying vascular biology and cardiovascular tissue engineering. Neill’s particular interest is in the role dynamic forces play in the control of cell differentiation and cellular recruitment to sites of injury. Neill completed his doctorate at the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering at the University of Manchester. Here, he investigated how cyclic stretching mediates differentiation of adult progenitor cells down smooth muscle, osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. In addition, Neill investigated the endothelialization of artificial vascular grafts and the effects of extracellular matrix substrata and shear stress on endothelial cell attachment and retention, leading to the development of a type VIII collagen-coated, endothelialized polyurethane graft.

Scott Johnson, MS

Scott Johnson is a research scientist in the Badylak laboratory. He received his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University studying Evolutionary Biology. Scott participates in a broad array of projects involving customized ECM devices, bioreactor-based cell culture, and preclinical studies. He is particularly involved in the REPAIR: Regenerative Electronic Platform through Advanced Intelligent Regulation project funded by the Defense Department.

Li Zhang, MD, MS

Li Zhang is a research scientist in the Badylak laboratory. She graduated from Beijing Medical University in China. She is involved in a variety of projects to study cell compatibility of ECM and is particularly involved in whole organ engineering – especially the whole liver extracellular matrix scaffolds as a potential replacement for liver transplants.

Julia Hart

Julia Hart is the supervisor of the Histology Core Laboratory for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She received her master’s degree from Duquesne University. In the past, she has worked with laboratories that service the forensic and pharmaceutical sectors. She currently performs the processing, embedding, cutting, and staining of histology samples for laboratories across the University of Pittsburgh.

Salma El-Mossier

Salma Osama El-Mossier is a research scientist in the Badylak lab. She graduated with a degree in biotechnology from the German University in Cairo, Egypt. Her research interests are focused on studying epimorphic regeneration in salamanders and subcellular trafficking of IL-33.

Post Doctoral Fellows

William D’Angelo, PhD

William D’Angelo completed his doctoral training at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied the acquisition of antiviral and inflammatory immune responsiveness during differentiation of embryonic stem cells. His research interests include exploring the roles of exosomes in regulation of immune responses and in recruitment and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells during constructive remodeling.

Marley Dewey, PhD

Marley Dewey is postdoctoral fellow in the Badylak Laboratory. She completed her doctoral training at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she modified mineralized collagen scaffolds for large-scale bone regeneration and investigated the in vitro immune response, mechanics, bacterial response, and multiple cellular responses within this system. Her research interests include investigating the immune and various cell responses of soft tissue systems to biomaterials, including how matrix-bound nanovesicles impact optic nerve regeneration.

Anjani Ravindra, MD

Anjani Ravindra received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. During her pediatric pulmonology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, she joined the Badylak laboratory and has continued as a postdoctoral fellow. She is developing an ECM-based tracheal bioscaffold which ties in with her clinical interest in pediatric lung transplantation.

Arthi Shridhar, PhD

Arthi Shridhar is a postdoctoral fellow in the Badylak laboratory. Arthi completed her doctoral training at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, where she focused on the development of tissue-specific extracellular matrix derived scaffolds in combination with adipose-derived stem cells, for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. She is currently the liaison for the BD/CR BARD relationship, and her research interests include the immune-modulatory effects of matrix-bound nanovesicles and the use of ECM-based platforms for skeletal muscle regeneration in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

Héctor Capella Monsonís, PhD

Héctor completed his PhD at the National University of Ireland Galway, where he worked on the development and characterization of porcine collagen-derived medical devices for several regenerative medicine applications such as tendon regeneration or stem cell delivery. His research interests include developing novel ECM-derived biomaterials, their immunomodulatory effect characterization in vivo and their translation to the clinic.

Graduate Students

Maddie Cramer

Maddie Cramer is a doctoral student in the Bioengineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on the effect of matrix-bound nanovesicles on innate immunomodulation and cardiac cell function. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the contribution of specific matrix-bound nanovesicles cargo in extracellular matrix-mediated cardiac remodeling following myocardial infarction.

Mark Murdock

Mark Murdock is a doctoral candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology program at the University of Pittsburgh. His main research focuses on exploring the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) components on the malignant phenotype of glioblastoma multiforme and evaluating their use as a novel approach to cancer therapy.

Raphael Crum

Raphael Crum is a fourth year MD/PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research focuses on innate and adaptive immune responses and interactions with matrix-bound nanovesicles. As a TL1 Clinical and Translational Science Fellow, he is interested in the clinical translation of matrix-bound nanovesicles for management of autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriasis.


David Negron

(T) 412-624-5253
(F) 412-624-5256

Patrick M. Hnidka

(T) 412-624-5308
(F) 412-624-5256

Visiting Scholars

Kelsey Hall

Kelsey Hall is an Academic Sciences Research Fellow for the Badylak Laboratory. She is a recent graduate of the College of Wooster whose studies focused on Cellular Neurophysiology. Her research is focusing on the effects of matrix-bound nanovesicles within extracellular matrix scaffolds on tissue regeneration and immune response.

PhD Graduates

Bartolacci, J. (2016-2020)
IL-33: An Extracellular Arbiter of Macrophage Mediated Myogenesis

Lee, Y. (2015-2020)
Characterization and Functional Analysis of ECM-Embedded Exosomes During Neoplastic Progression

Pineda Molina, C. (2014-2018)
Immunomodulation and antimicrobial activity of biologic, biosynthetic, and synthetic scaffold materials

Saldin, L. (2014-2018)
Inflammatory and Cancerous Tissue Hydrogels

van der Merwe, Y. (2014-2018)
Neuroprotective approaches to ocular injury

Keane, T. (2012-2016)
Mechanisms of constructive remodeling in the gastrointestinal mucosa

Faulk, D. (2010-2015)
Engineering Functional Liver Tissue with Three Dimensional Scaffolds Composed of Liver Extracellular Matrix

Londono, R. (2008-2015)
Mechanisms of Biomaterial-Mediated Esophageal Repair

Wolf, M. (2008-2013)
The Influence of Tissue Specific Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Extracellular Matrix on Muscle Remodeling

Sicari, B. (2009-2013)
Constructive Tissue Remodeling by Extracellular Matrix Bioscaffolds within the Aging Skeletal Muscle Microenvironment

Carruthers, C. (2007-2013)
Tissue and Whole Organ Decellularization: An Evaluation of Cytocompatibility and Mechanics

Medberry, C. (2008-2013)
Central Nervous System Extracellular Matrix as a Therapeutic Bioscaffold for Central Nervous System Injury

Agrawal, V. (2003-2011)
ECM Degradation, Matricryptic Peptides, and Stem Cell Recruitment

Brown, B. (2006-2010)
Chitosan and Mammalian Extracellular Matrix as Biologic Scaffolds for Tissue Reconstruction

Wainwright, J. (2006-2010)
Cardiac Extracellular Matrix as a Scaffold for Myocardial Repair and Reconstruction

Brennen, E. (2004-2009)
Biologically Active Degradation Products of Mammalian Extracellular Matrix

Valentin, J. (2003-2009)
Material and Mechanical Properties of ECM Scaffolds

Sellaro, T. (2003-2008)
Liver-Derived ECM for Hepatic Tissue Engineering

Gilbert, T. (1998-2006)
In Vitro Remodeling of ECM Scaffolds by Fibroblasts and the Effect of Mechanical Loading

Freytes, D. (2003-2008)
ECM Gels as Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

Hui, S. (1996-2000)
Evaluation of the Effect of Small Intestinal Submucosa on the Remodeling of Patellar Tendon Donor Sites in a Canine Model

Previous Post-Doctoral Fellows

Lindsey Saldin (2018-2020)
Catalina Pineda Molina (2018-2020)
Lina Quijano Luque (2018-2020)
Jonas Eriksson (2017-2019)
Juan Diego Naranjo (2015-2018)
Michelle Scarritt (2015-2017)
Luai Huleihel (2014-2016)
Ilea Swinehart (2014-2015)

Alessandra Costa (2014-2016)
Nicholas Amoroso (2013-2014)
Fan-Wei Meng (2012-2014)
Peter Slivka (2012-2014)
Marc Hansel (2011-2012)
Elizabeth Kollar (2011-2013)
Christopher Dearth (2011-2013)
Jeremy Kelly (2010-2012)
Peter Crapo (2010-2012)
Brandon Reines (2009-2010)

Alex Huber (2009-2011)
Kerry Daly (2008-2011)
Neill Turner (2007-2010)
Alan Boruch (2007-2009)
Allison Beattie (2006-2008)
Annie Lee2005 – (2007)
Julie Myers-Irvin (2005-2007)
Annie Liang (1997-1999)
Tim McPherson (1995-1997)
Jack Debes (1992-1995)

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