Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering is moving toward the production of an adipose stem-cell based vascular graft for bypass patients, thanks to a new R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Led by David A. Vorp, PhD, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, the research group will over the next two years begin the clinical translation of a novel, autologous, stem cell-based tissue engineered vascular grafts (TEVG). TEVGs present a novel recourse because the grafts are grown from the patient’s own cells, allowing for improved response from the body’s immune system and less reliance on using existing arteries and veins from elsewhere in the patient or from a donor.
In addition, Dr. Vorp’s team is utilizing adipose or fat tissue, because, states Dr. Vorp “fat not only contains an abundance of stem cells, but also is plentiful in most patients and a source that is generally attractive to the patient for harvesting”. With nearly one million aortocoronary bypass, peripheral arterial bypass, and arterio-venous access graft procedures performed each year in the US, there is a greater need for a more successful vascular graft that further reduces morbidity and mortality.
David A. Vorp, PhD, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has been appointed Associate Dean for Research at the Swanson School, effective October 15, 2012. Dr. Vorp succeeds Mark Redfern, PhD, who was named as Pitt’s Vice Provost for Research in August 2012.
“On behalf of the Swanson School, we are proud to appoint an accomplished researcher and alumnus as our Associate Dean for Research,” noted Gerald D. Holder, PhD, US Steel Dean of Engineering. “Dr. Vorp enjoys a collaborative history with faculty and staff at both the Swanson School and the School of Medicine, and has generated significant research funding from federal and foundation sources. He also has experience with translational research and commercialization, which are growing priorities for the Swanson School and Pitt.”
“I am honored by Dean Holder’s confidence, and humbled to know that I am in position to help a School that I care very deeply about, having been affiliated with it continuously for over 30 years,” Dr. Vorp said. “I understand that I follow in large footsteps, and I expect to continue the positive trajectory in advancing research and scholarship for the Swanson School that was the hallmark of Vice Provost Redfern’s tenure in this position. I embrace the challenge and opportunity to work closely with the leadership, faculty and staff of the Swanson School to establish new, multi-disciplinary initiatives within the mission of the School, and I am confident that we will continue to grow our portfolio of academic excellence.“
Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is a compilation of some of those stories.
Pitt Professor’s Contributions to Bioengineering Recognized With Prestigious 2011 Van C. Mow Medal, the Only Institution With Faculty Who Have Received the Award Twice
David Vorp, a Pitt professor of bioengineering and surgery whose research combines human blood vessels with mechanical theory, has been awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 2011 Van C. Mow Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in engineering. The annual prize recognizes notable and lasting contributions to the field of bioengineering.