Drs. Badylak and Sacks Recognized With Pitt Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award!
This prestigious award annually recognizes outstanding scholarly accomplishments of members of the University’s faculty who have achieved national and international eminence as an exceptional scholar in their field.
The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine is pleased to announce that Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Deputy Director, McGowan Institute, and Michael Sacks, PhD, William Kepler Whiteford Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering, each were awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award. This prestigious award annually recognizes outstanding scholarly accomplishments of members of the University’s faculty who have achieved national and international eminence as an exceptional scholar in their field. Both Drs. Badylak and Sacks will be honored publicly at the 2008 Honors Convocation on February 29, 2008, as outstanding Senior Scholar Awardees along with other faculty members and students.
As a pioneer in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering, Dr. Badylak’s medical advances have been used to treat more than 1.5 million patients throughout the world. Dr. Badylak, Professor, Department of Surgery, was the first to realize that the best biomaterials for tissue regeneration would be those rich in the scaffold matrix proteins found in vivo. These scaffolds, when implanted in the body at the site of a wound, recruit new cells to form tissues identical to the original, injured structures. He also invented new materials that repair and replace damaged human tissues. Importantly, Dr. Badylak’s clinical and medical accomplishments are backed up by solid research studies in highly interdisciplinary areas, such as cell biology, surgery, biochemistry, materials science, tissue engineering, and biomechanics. Dr. Badylak’s peers describe him as “a model for how science, technology, and medicine might be coupled in the 21st century” and “an internationally known researcher in the fields of tissue engineering and biomaterials, a leading authority in the field of transplantations, and a true inventor of important medical products.” As an innovator in his field, “Steve Badylak must be given credit for his pioneering leadership to the biomaterials and tissue engineering community in the area of biological materials…He is considered at the top of his field, truly an international leader.”
Dr. Sacks is a leader in the field of the mechanical behavior of biological and bioprosthetic tissues, who has both developed novel methods to analyze tissue structure and conducted pioneering work in the experimental and theoretical understanding of soft tissue mechanics. Dr. Sacks possesses noted expertise in heart valve analysis and replacement. His use of small angle laser scattering to analyze the collagen substructure in heart valve and tissue-derived replacements provides a critically valuable window into the structural basis for valve mechanics. Scientific American named Dr. Sacks as one of its top 50 researchers for 2006 for his seminal work on the biomechanics of biological scaffolds for cardiac regeneration. Dr. Sacks’ peers describe him as “a leading investigator in the solid mechanics and functional fibrous architecture of heart valves and other collagenous tissues,” whose “contributions to the understanding of prosthetic heart valve leaflet biomechanics and heart failure mechanisms have been exceedingly helpful…” “Dr. Sacks is considered a world class leader in tissue mechanics, highly recognized, and constantly accelerating his research activity” and “…has established himself as the world leader in heart valve tissue mechanics…”
The Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award is a superior recognition for all of the hard work and dedication Drs. Badylak and Sacks have devoted to their research. Their outstanding records add to the distinction of the University and the McGowan Institute.
Thank you and congratulations, Drs. Badylak and Sacks!