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ICES Welcomes Alan Russell as Highmark Distinguished Career Professor


Article Posted On 5/22/2012

ICES is pleased to welcome Dr. Alan Russell as the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor. He holds appointments in ICES and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and will be launching a Disruptive Health Technology initiative. Increasing the simplicity, affordability, and accessibility of healthcare through science and engineering will be the goal of the new program. Over the next six months, teams from CMU, Highmark, and West Penn Allegheny Health System will develop strategic science and engineering driven programs in multiple areas.

Shortly after arriving at CMU, Dr Russell launched a new journal in partnership with Mary Ann Liebert Publishing entitled Disruptive Science and Technology. In addition to his appointments at CMU, Dr. Russell is the executive director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Inc and a senior advisor to Highmark Inc.

Dr. Russell was the founding director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, serving in that capacity from 2001-2011. He has founded three biotechnology companies; ICX Agentase (now owned by FLIR), NanoSembly LLC (now owned by LIG Biosciences), and O2Cyte LLC. Dr. Russell was also the founding president of the now 3,000+ member Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. Dr. Russell served as chair of the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for 2012 and is a current member of the FDA's Science Board.

For the last 20 years, the Russell laboratory has been discovering what can be achieved by exploiting the rich interface of chemistry, biology, and materials. His work has impacted fields as diverse as chemical and polymer synthesis to tissue engineering and homeland defense. Dr. Russell has pioneered how to make polymers from enzymes and how to incorporate enzymes into bulk polymers. In a series of discoveries, his laboratory has found how to meld the synthetic and biological worlds.