Category: Grinstaff, Mark
Professor Mark Grinstaff is a recipient of one of the first Boston University MSE Innovation Grants for his research proposal Real-time control of drug release from superhydrophobic biomaterials using clinical ultrasound.
These awards from Boston University’s College of Engineering, Division of Materials Science & Engineering aim to encourage innovation and risk taking.
Professor Mark W. Grinstaff has won the inaugural Innovator of the Year Award from BU’s Office of Technology Development, recognizing a faculty member who translates research into innovations that benefit humankind. The Innovator of the Year Award seeks to highlight translational research at BU by recognizing an entrepreneurial faculty member and the potential for commercialization and/or wider adoption of their inventions. It also encourages faculty to become entrepreneurial while promoting role models who can inspire graduate students to pursue entrepreneurial careers.
Professor Grinstaff, who has joint appointments in Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, co-founded three companies now commercializing his research ideas: Hyperbranch Medical Technology, Flex Biomedical, and recent start-up Acuity Bio that is commercializing a new drug delivery device for the prevention of tumor recurrence after surgical resection – a significant unmet clinical need. His current work includes research into new macromolecule and amphiphile syntheses, self-assembly chemistry, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. As he presented the award, President Bob Brown said that “Professor Grinstaff is an entrepreneurial scientist, whose practical approach to science has led to the formation of three companies producing beneficial products … His accomplishments in the past year include 15 peer-reviewed papers published, two invention disclosures, a patent filing, and more than $1 million invested in Flex Biomedical.”
Professor Grinstaff received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. His honors include the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award, NSF Career Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Health Care Innovation.
Professor Mark Grinstaff (Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering) has received the 2008 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Healthcare Innovation from CIMIT as part of the CIMIT Cancer Advanced Technology Team.
CIMIT (Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology) is a non-profit consortium of Boston teaching hospitals and engineering schools, whose mission is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among world-class experts in medicine, science and engineering, in concert with industry and government, to improve patient care rapidly.
The Kennedy Award is CIMIT’s only annual award and is the single highest honor they offer. Collaborating with Professor Grinstaff are Yolonda Colson, M.D., Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and John Frangioni, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. They are working on the fusion of sentinel lymph node mapping (using novel infrared fluorescence imaging) with polymer-based drug delivery (using nanotechnology) to develop a translational approach to treat metastatic cancer in the lymph nodes regionally.
Professor Mark Grinstaff has accepted a newly created position at Boston University — a joint appointment between the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry — funded by a Whitaker Foundation Leadership Award. The Whitaker Foundation’s mission is to promote better human health by supporting academic research in biomedical engineering. Professor Grinstaff’s highly interdisciplinary research is at the interface between chemistry and biomedical engineering.
It focuses on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel dendrimer polymers for tissue engineering and biotechnological applications. This new class of “biodendrimers” are comprised of building blocks that are biocompatible or degradable in vivo to natural metabolites. Specifically, Professor Grinstaff and his group are synthesizing and characterizing novel dendrimers composed of glycerol and succinic acid.
One of Grinstaff’s major research areas is the synthesis and characterization of dendritic polymer hydrogels. These hydrogels are being evaluated for several ophthalmic applications, including the repair of corneal lacerations. The use of a dendritic hydrogel eliminates the need for sutures and can immediately restore the integrity of the cornea, as well as decrease the risk of surgical complications. To date, Professor Grinstaff’s research group has successfully repaired 4 mm corneal perforations in vivo using these novel polymers.