2020 summer school pix

The 7th Annual Regenerative Medicine Summer School was held virtually June 8-12, 2020, due to COVID-19.  The program is led by Bryan Brown, PhD, Director of Educational Outreach, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Dr. Brown is also Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

The McGowan Institute provides national and regional students with a week-long didactic learning experience addressing the science and engineering related to the multidisciplinary field of regenerative medicine.  The program’s target audience is undergraduates, enrolled in a science or engineering program that completed their 3rd year of study. Also, exceptional candidates who completed their 2nd year of undergraduate study were considered.

This year’s lectures to 54 students (two students attended the program from Jordan and Taiwan) from 31 different academic institutions were live streamed via Zoom and addressed the areas of:

  • Tissue Engineering
  • Cell-Based Therapies
  • Medical Devices
  • Clinical Translation and Commercialization

The week’s program included a great cross-section of scientific topics given by McGowan Institute affiliated faculty and collaborators.  They include:

Mechanical circulatory support for the failing heart
Harvey Borovetz, PhD
Distinguished Professor and former Chair (2002-2013), Bioengineering
Deputy Director of Artificial Organs and Medical Devices, MIRM

Tour of the Artificial Heart Program
Rick Schaub, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
Senior Director of the Artificial Heart Program, UPMC

Artificial lungs
Ryan Orizondo, PhD
Fellow, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Center for Military Medicine Research – overview & project discussions
Ron Poropatich, MD
Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Director, Center for Military Medicine Research, Health Sciences

Panel Discussion—Careers in Regenerative Medicine: Moderated by Bryan Brown, PhD

Bioengineering of stem cells for diabetes therapy
Ipsita Banerjee, PhD
Associate Professor, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering

Burns wound healing and autologous skin progenitor cell regenerative medicine R&D
Jörg Gerlach, MD, PhD
Professor, Surgery, and Bioengineering

Macrophage engineering: New approaches for drug delivery and diagnostics
Elizabeth Wayne, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

Growing a surrogate liver in a lymph node—from experimental approaches to potential clinical applications
Eric Lagasse, PharmD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology, Clinical and Translational Institute
Director, Cancer Stem Cell Center, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Biomedical microscopy
Donna Stolz, PhD
Associate Director, Center for Biologic Imaging,
Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Pathology
Director, Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology Graduate Program

Biomaterials applied to support the failing heart
William Wagner, PhD
Professor, Surgery, Bioengineering, and Chemical Engineering
Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Chairman, TERMIS – Americas

The extracellular matrix as an inductive scaffold for functional tissue reconstruction
Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
Professor, Surgery
Director, Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering
Deputy Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Tissue engineering strategies for severe peripheral nerve injuries
Kacey Marra, PhD
Professor, Plastic Surgery, and Bioengineering
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Plastic Surgery

Ocular drug delivery
Morgan Fedorchak, PhD
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, Chemical Engineering, and Clinical & Translational
Director, Ophthalmic Biomaterials Laboratory

Scaffold-free tissue engineering
Fatima Syed-Picard, PhD
Assistant Professor, Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine

Airway tissue engineering
Riccardo Gottardi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Bioengineering and Biomaterials Laboratory
University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


Soheila Ali Akbari Ghavimi, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Regenerative medicine approaches in the study and treatment of human aortic disease
Julie Phillippi, PhD
Associate Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bioengineering
Director, Postdoctoral Research, Cardiothoracic Surgery

The new ex-vivo world and the business of science
Paulo Fontes, MD
Professor, Surgery
Director, Surgical Innovation & Research
West Virginia University

Brain tissue regeneration after stroke
Michel Modo, PhD
Professor, Radiology

Measurement, modeling, and modulation of the inflammatory response
Yoram Vodovotz, PhD
Professor, Surgery, Immunology, Computational & Systems Biology, Bioengineering, and
Communication Disorders
Director, Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling

Career lessons and pivots from an academic entrepreneur
Don Taylor, MBA, PhD
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences Translation
Executive Director, sciVelo
Associate Director, Center for Medical Innovation
Associate Professor, Biomedical Informatics, Plastic Surgery, and Bioengineering

Adipose-derived therapies for regenerative medicine
Lauren Kokai, PhD
Assistant Professor, Plastic Surgery

Through the generosity of donors and sponsors, this year’s program was free to the participating students.  The summer school program has been endorsed by the Society for Biomaterials.

Thanks to the faculty and staff for your contributions to this very successful event.