Treena Livingston Arinzeh, PhD
Black Enterprise magazine has named Treena Livingston Arinzeh, 37, one of “40 under 40” to watch in 2008. Arinzeh, an associate professor in NJIT’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, has earned national recognition for her pioneering adult stem cell research to find ways to use biomaterials to re-engineer tissues.
Last year, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology awarded Arinzeh a two-year $300,000 grant to investigate ways to repair cartilage, using nanofiber scaffolding, a technique of interest now to biomedical engineers working with adult stem cells. People who suffer from arthritis or painful torn cartilage from sports injuries would welcome such advances.
In 2006, she received a $700,000, five-year grant from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord research to develop a new therapy for treating spinal cord injuries. Arinzeh is also co-principal investigator through 2009 on a National Academy of Sciences grant to develop a novel battery to be implanted in human bodies to power important devices. “Such a battery could be used for pacemakers and prosthetics, both of which typically need long-term power,” she added.
Several years ago, Arinzeh’s paper in the Journal of Biomedical Materials. Research focused on how biomaterials, known as scaffolds--specifically, calcium phosphates--act as a framework for growing stem cells, prompting them to become the cellular building material of bone or other tissues. Her second discovery, described in a paper for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, was that adult stem cells taken from one person could be implanted in another without being rejected.
Arinzeh received her doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania; her MSE in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University; and her BS in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University.