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February 20th, 2012
This post is presented by SBE, the Society for Biological Engineering—a global organization of leading engineers and scientists dedicated to advancing the integration of biology with engineering. Ali Khademhosseini is a multi-award winning researcher who is leading a diverse team with the lofty goal of engineering human cells to grow replacement organs in the lab. This research would serve to eliminate one of medicine’s great bottlenecks: the need for donors. The cells are grown in a hydrogel on a scaffold which helps align and shape the tissue under conditions that closely replicate development in the human body. The video, from CBS in Boston, outlines Ali's groundbreaking work: Ali admits that developing whole organs is years away, but his lab aims to design tissues that can be sutured to damaged heart tissue and encourage healing. Professor Khademhosseini is an associate professor at Harvard-MIT's Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Harvard Medical School (HMS), as well as an associate faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is also a junior principal investigator at Japan’s World Premier International – Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR) at Tohoku University, where he directs a satellite laboratory. Currently he is a Harrington fellow at the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Texas, Austin. For more information about his work, visit his lab group's page.