In 2009 NIH awarded BU a T32 training grant entitled Translational Research in Biomaterials (TRB). In this program young women and men will learn how to translate their research ideas from the laboratory to the clinic. As director of the program, our mission is to train Ph.D. students as interdisciplinary and translational research scientists who have: 1) a fundamental and quantitatively based understanding of materials, polymer chemistry, surface science, molecular and cellular biology, and relevant engineering technologies; 2) the capacity to assess emergent properties and behavior across multiple levels (molecular-to-macroscopic) of a material or biological system; 3) research experience in interdisciplinary programs that promote discussion and scientific inquiry in areas outside of the student’s comfort zone; and 4) training in societal impacts of new technology, public policy, ethics, clinical trials, and basic business. The capstone of the TRB program is the education curriculum that includes biomaterials courses, a clinical trials course, an entrepreneurial/business course, as well as medical grand rounds and surgery theater for exposure to patient care. Our program will exposse students to research challenges outside of their specialty and promote interpersonal skills for cross-disciplinary communication. These skills are essential in future careers as graduates join teams that combine diverse backgrounds to meet a common goal or objective in research, development, commercialization, regulatory activities, or public policy. To summarize, training young scientists and engineers in biomaterials will facilitate the implementation of biomaterial-based technologies (including tissue-engineering approaches) to the clinic.
HyperBranch Medical Technology, Inc. is developing and commericalizing synthetic, resorbable surgical sealants based on its proprietary technology. The features of HyperBranch’s technology reside within the structure and formulation of the novel chemistry. This allows the customization of physical properties to meet the requirements of specific clinical indications. Hyperbranch's first product, a Liquid Ocular Bandage (OcuSeal™), has been used on thousands of patients and was licensed to BD Medical – Ophthalmic Systems, a unit of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) in 2009. The company's second and third products, a dural sealant and a hernia mesh fixation sealant, have been recently approved for sale and use in Europe. Since co-founding HyperBranch Medical Technology, Inc. in 2003, it has been exciting for me to see this new technology transition to the clinic.
Affinergy is developing a range of products to market that help restore quality of life for a range of musculoskeletal conditions by harnessing the body's natural healing processes. Affinergy technology is at the intersection between devices and biologics, and they have created a unique set of coatings that perform at that critical interface. Affinergy is committed to improving clinical outcomes for a broad spectrum of patients while delivering safe and effective products for use by surgeons. The company has products in pre-clincial testing. In 2008 Affinergy transitioned from a research company to one that is engaged in product development. I co-founded Affinergy in 2004 with Peyton Anderson, Jonathan Gindes, and Daniel Kenan.
Flex Biomedical, Inc. is a Madison, Wisconsin-based company that is developing novel treatments for orthopedic diseases. In 2008 I co-founded the company with Sal Braico, Brian Snyder, Hideki Suzuki, and Michel Wathier.