Over the last few years, biomaterials research—see this companion article for a definition of the field—has undergone what two of the researchers who Science Careers spoke to called a “maturation of the field,” as the science has become more sophisticated and progressed toward the clinic. Over these last few years, biomaterials researchers have become more established in their research settings and gained more control over research agendas, says John P. Fisher, a professor in the Tissue Engineering & Biomaterials Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park. Meanwhile, writes Hak-Joon Sung, a biomaterials researcher at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, in an e-mail, “Not only me, but leading biomaterials scientists agree to the fact that clinical translation has become a major goal for technical development in the field.”
As a result of this maturation, funding opportunities have broadened, with researchers increasingly turning to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for support for the more applied aspects of their research portfolio. Unfortunately, that shift does not seem to have significantly improved their odds of getting funding. In fact, funding prospects in this scientifically and clinically exciting field appear to have darkened.
Professor Michele Marcolongo has been appointed Senior Associate Vice Provost for Translational Research. Reporting to Vice Provost for Research Deborah Crawford in the Office of Research, Marcolongo will work in the area of translational research.
Previously Marcolongo served as Associate Vice Provost for Research in the Office of Research and Associate Dean for Intellectual Property Development in the College of Engineering.