Biotechnology and Healthcare Category

Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda

Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prof. Bellamkonda’s laboratory is interested in understanding and repairing injuries to the nervous system using therapeutic approaches enabled by technologies derived from Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Apart from developing bioengineered scaffolds to improve regenerative outcomes after peripheral and central nerve injury, his group tries to identify and understand the mechanisms by which astroglial scar is inhibitory. His research group was the first to identify a new, potently inhibitory, dual sulfated sugar that is over-expressed in glial scar. This finding should enable new approaches to overcome scar related failure of CNS regeneration.

Dr Bellamkonda is a founding scientist at Marval Therapeutics Inc. He is an active consultant for Ampersand Medical in Chicago and Sulzer Innotec AG, Winterthur, Switzerland. He has filed patents on his work on CNS regenerative strategies. Dr. Bellamkonda sits on the editorial boards of a number of journals. He has been elected fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2004 and has a number of awards to his honor. Dr. Bellamkonda graduated from Osmania University, Hyderabad in 1989 and pursued his PhD at Brown University, RI in biomaterials and materials science after which he worked at MIT as a post-doctoral researcher on ECM and growth factors in development.

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Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam

Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering of Duke University. Dr. Ramanujam’s research activities are centered on the development of novel optical spectroscopic and imaging modalities for diagnostic applications in medicine. She was the principal inventor of a novel diagnostic instrument and algorithm based on fluorescence spectroscopy for fast, automated and non-invasive detection of human cervical pre-cancer. Her work contributed to six issued patents all of which have been licensed to industry through the University of Texas System. Today there are at least five companies developing fluorescent based systems to aid in the detection of cervical pre-cancer.

Dr. Ramanujam has a number of awards to her credit and was selected as one of top 100 inventors by the MIT Technology Review magazine in 2003. She is currently collaborating with a start-up company to develop this product. She is also leading a multi-disciplinary effort to develop optical diagnostic tools for breast cancer to improve the sampling accuracy of core needle biopsy. This “smart sensor” could potentially lead to fewer follow up procedures and fewer repeat biopsies in patients suspected to have breast cancer. Dr. Ramanujam graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with her B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering in 1989 and 1992 respectively and with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1995. She began her academic career at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor in 1999. She then moved to the University of Wisconsin, Madison as assistant professor in 2000 and to the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University in 2005 as an associate professor.

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Dr. Krishnendu Roy

Dr. Krishnendu Roy is an assistant professor of Biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Roy’s research focuses on polymer based DNA delivery, DNA vaccines, delivery of nucleic acids and effects of delivery of genes to stem differential and tissue regeneration. At the Johns Hopkins University, Dr Roy developed a gene therapy for peanut allergy. The vaccine is currently in clinical trials. He also invented a novel genetic vaccine delivery system and this technology is currently undergoing clinical trials for cervical cancers with MGI Pharma Biologics Inc. Dr. Roy’s lab has developed a number of oral gene delivery systems for a that could be of potential use in a number of therapies.

Dr. Roy has a number of awards to his credit. He was awarded the NSF, NIH and Whitaker awards for his research work. He was awarded the 2003 Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator in Bioengineering Research. He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society in 2000. He was awarded the Controlled Drug Delivery Cygnus Award in 1997. He graduated with an institute silver medal from IIT Kharagpur in 1993 in instrumentation engineering and with an MS in biomedical engineering from Boston University and PhD in Biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1999.

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