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Full NameProfessor Abhay Pandit
Department:Center for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM)
Organisation:National University of Ireland Galway
- bioengineering/medical devices
• functional biomaterials for musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and neural applications
- Orthopaedic surgery
My laboratory is a multidisciplinary research team which brings together research strengths in biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and medical device design. Specifically my laboratory focusses on the use of biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. We design and create improved medical implants to treat major unmet medical needs. Implants are designed to be responsive to the body's cues to deliver therapeutic agents in a localised manner in response to injury. These technologies are developed with strong clinical and industrial collaborations to ensure that they reach the clinical setting to improve the quality of life of patients.
Typically my PhD students graduate with four original research papers and one review paper and they secure employment in either national or international world-renowned research laboratories or cognisant industries prior to completion of their studies. In recent years they have secured the prestigious Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship and the Sir Henry Wellcome Trust Fellowship to pursue their postdoctoral studies in world-renowned international laboratories. To date, six of my students have secured the European Doctoral Award, a testament to the international competitiveness of their work. Recent work has been published in top journals such as Nature Communications, Science Advances, Molecular Therapy, Biomaterials, Advanced Materials.
Potential research projects focus on the use of biomaterials as carriers for biomolecules including nucleic acids and cells which are designed to work synergistically with the biological host to improve or replace functionality. These biomaterials are designed to target injury mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels and to target different phases of the underlying disease pathology to induce an enhanced therapeutic response. These platforms are designed to address unmet clinical needs for the treatment of myocardial infarction, low back pain, multiple sclerosis and chronic diabetic wounds. Potential project can be expanded in any of the following four areas:
1. In myocardial infarction, our focus is on developing functionalised biomaterials to address two of the major pathological issues associated with myocardial infarction: the massive inflammatory cascade that follows injury and the fibrotic (scarring) response post-infarction.
2. In low back pain, our focus is on investigating both the ageing and degenerative processes involved in the disease pathology. We have develop biomaterial-based biological therapies (cell, protein or gene-based) to repair the intervertebral disc. Functional recovery parameters characterised are an increase in disc height and the formation of a functional and biomechanically stable tissue.
3. In neurodegenerative diseases our focus is on developing a biocompatible, pathology-responsive, delivery system, guided by in-depth knowledge of cues from neuro-pathophysiology. Specifically we target the treatment of progressive MS neurodegeneration for which there is currently no disease-modifying therapy available. The ultimate goal here is to reduce clinical symptoms which are characteristic of disease progression. Our goal is to arrest and significantly delay further neurological decline thereby reducing disability in patients.
4. In wound healing, our focus is on developing biomaterial to deliver multiple biomolecules targeting the inflammatory and angiogenic phases of the underlying disease pathology of chronic diabetic wounds to induce an enhanced therapeutic response.