PITTSBURGH, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnegie Mellon University's Adam W. Feinberg was awarded a five-year, $2.25 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award to continue developing new biomaterials and cardiac tissue engineering strategies to help repair the human heart following injury and disease.
"I am extremely excited about this award because it will allow me to continue pursuing leading edge research designed to help regenerate and repair heart muscle and improve wound healing in a variety of biomedical arenas," said Feinberg, an assistant professor in CMU's departments of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering.
Feinberg is one of 81 researchers nationwide receiving awards from the NIH to pursue visionary science that exhibits the potential to transform scientific fields and speed the conversion of lab research into improved health, under the High Risk-High Reward program supported through the NIH Common Fund.
"This is recognition of Professor Feinberg's outstanding research vision and we applaud his drive to continue pushing the research envelope when it comes to improving the biomaterials and processes so critical to advancing biomedical engineering at CMU," said Vijaykumar Bhagavatula, interim dean of CMU's College of Engineering.
According to NIH Director Francis S. Collins, the Common Fund High Risk-High Reward program provides opportunities for innovative investigators in any area of health research to take risks when the potential impact in biomedical and behavioral science is high. Feinberg is the first researcher at CMU to receive the prestigious New Innovator Award since it was introduced in 2007.
Feinberg's lab is focused on the engineering of protein scaffolds that can dynamically guide tissue repair and regeneration.
"To do this, we are studying multi-cellular tissue assembly in embryonic development and wound healing in order to develop biomimetic engineering design principles," Feinberg said. "We will be ultimately applying this basic research to model how cells interact with the extracellular matrix in multiple tissue types including cornea and cardiac muscle. Future medical applications include improved drug discovery and screening platforms, novel tools for biological investigation and engineered tissue grafts for disease and trauma repair."
Feinberg received his bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in 1999 with co-operative experience at Abiomed, Inc., where he worked on artificial hearts. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 from the University of Florida.
Before joining CMU in 2010, Feinberg did his postdoctoral training at Harvard University where he developed new biomaterials and cardiac engineering strategies. For more information about the New Innovator award, visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/newinnovator. For more information about Feinberg's research, visit http://regenerativebiomaterials.com.
About Carnegie Mellon University:Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled "Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University," which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.
SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University