The emerging field of tissue engineering is the research focus of Treena Livingston Arinzeh, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. She won a prestigious NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers to support her work with adult stem cells. She was among 57 young scientists honored at a White House ceremony in September.Read the White House press release or view a video of the ceremony. Her achievements were recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Robert Menendez.
Dr. Arinzeh uses multipotential cells from bone marrow capable of transforming into cell types of various connective tissues in combination with scaffolds of calcium phosphates to repair and regrow bone. This technique has potential to assist patients who have suffered bone loss from maladies ranging from osteoporosis to bone cancer. Arinzeh is also testing biomaterials that, in combination with adult stem cells, might repair cartilage, tendon and neural tissues. Her findings were published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery last year.
In the new study, Dr. Arinzeh expects to develop a systematic approach in evaluating biomaterials as potential scaffolds for cell based therapies and to integrate these concepts into new undergraduate and graduate courses in biomaterials and biocompatibility and principles of tissue engineering. She hopes to develop a program that will attract more women underrepresented minority groups to engineering and science by introducing the concepts of tissue engineering to high school students and training high school teachers, particularly those in all-girl schools, interactive approaches to teaching engineering to their students.