Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Lisa Stubbs, left,  with Robert W. Schaefer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Brendan Harley, and Research Assistant Professor Sara Pedron-Haba. Advanced settings.

Urbana, Ill. The Society For Biomaterials (SFB) has awarded the 2021 Clemson Award for Basic Research to chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Brendan Harley for his advances to regenerate tissues with biomaterials. The award will be presented at the virtual SFB 2021 Annual Meeting held April 20 – 23, 2021.

“I am honored to be the recipient of this senior-level investigator award from the professional society that has been my home for the past two decades,” said Harley, the Robert W. Schaefer Professor. “This recognition is only possible because of the community of students, mentors, and colleagues I have had the honor to work with. I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to my efforts to help advance our field.”

This award recognizes an individual who has made an original contribution to the basic knowledge and understanding of the interaction between materials and tissue. The contribution may employ a new theoretical concept, new material development, or original study of the functioning or interactions of a material in the biological environment, according to the award description.

“As a highlight of a recent paper, Brendan’s group published a beautiful study in Science Advances on a scaffold design containing osseous and tendinous tissue compartments connected through a PEG hydrogel to dissipate strain,” said University of Pennsylvania Professor Jason Burdick in his recommendation letter. “This is an important contribution where biomaterials may play a significant role to address a clinical concern.”

Harley’s research focuses on developing advanced biomaterials that replicate the dynamic, spatially patterned, and heterogeneous microenvironment found in the tissues of our body. His work aims to understand how biomaterial cues instruct cell responses in the context of development, disease, and regeneration. Applications include the design of biomaterials that can be implanted into the body to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues such as tendon and bone after injury as well as development of biomaterials that can be used outside of the body as model systems to study cancer progression and tissue remodeling.

The Society For Biomaterials (SFB) is a multidisciplinary society of academic, healthcare, governmental, and business professionals dedicated to promoting advancements in all aspects of biomaterial science, education, and professional standards to enhance human health and quality of life. Two other Clemson Awards recognize applied research and contributions to literature.


– Written by Claire Benjamin, Associate Director of Communications

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