More than $8 million in NIH grants to bioengineering faculty

By Staff

Faculty in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver have been awarded more than $8 million in new grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Robin Shandas, department chair, received one of six grants from the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at NIH. The award is for more than $2.1 million to study pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in children. This project brings together a collaborative team of bioengineers, clinicians, and basic scientists to improve prediction of clinical outcomes in children born with this complex disease.

Shandas also was awarded, for a second five-year cycle, a senior NIH 24K Career award to train the next generation of translational scientists in cardiopulmonary bioengineering. He is one of the few Ph.D. scientists to receive this clinically oriented award that usually is given to physicians. The award recognizes his long-standing record of teaching and mentoring in translational bioengineering.

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Kendall Hunter is a co-investigator on a second award made by the NHLBI to School of Medicine principal investigator and bioengineering affiliate faculty, Kurt Stenmark.  Hunter will develop new imaging diagnostics to evaluate how scleroderma affects the pulmonary vascular system.

The NIH/NHLBI has earmarked $20.25 million over five years to foster research leading to improved diagnostics and therapeutics. UC Denver won two of the six awards made nationally.

In addition, Daewon Parkisco is co-investigator on another new RO1 grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. This $1.8 grant will be used to develop the next-generation polymeric materials for various dental applications.

The Department of Bioengineering and associated Center for Bioengineering were founded in 2010 as a collaborative partnership between the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.