Yadong Wang joined the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering in summer 2017. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at Stanford University in 1999, performed his postdoctoral studies at MIT, and joined the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003 as an assistant professor. He was recruited to Pittsburgh in 2008. He has published high-impact articles at every stage of his academic career in journals including Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Medicine, and PNAS. Several of his inventions are licensed, one polymer he invented is now commercially available and approved for clinical use. He co-founded two companies to translate the technologies developed in his laboratory. His research focuses on creating biomaterials that will solve key challenges in the cardiovascular, nervous and musculoskeletal systems. His team enjoys collaboration with others who share the same passion for translational research.
We design biomaterials for drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. We used tools in biology, chemistry, and materials sciences to engineer structures that can guide host response.
We design elastomers that transform into vascular tissues after implantation. The polymer enables the host cells to make a large amount of elastin, which had been a key challenge in tissue engineering. We eliminated the need of cell seeding prior to implantation to accelerate clinical translation.
We use self-assembled polymers for controlled drug delivery of proteins. The only successful protein drugs are those of long half-lives. Growth factors are potent molecules that guides essential cell functions. However, their short half-lives have limited their clinical use. We use a coacervate to enable spatial and temporal control of the release of the growth factors, increasing the half-lives by an order of magnitude while reducing the side effects.
We harvest the regenerative potential of extracellular matrix (ECM) from primitive species. Many evolutionarily simpler species have amazing regeneration capabilities. A well-known example is the limb regeneration of newt. Cells are undoubtedly important for this regeneration. However the ECM and the soluble factors within it often control cell fate. The focus of the ECM research and application is on mammals. However, mammals don't regenerate their heart and central nerve. We are studying the regenerative capability of primitive species to help regeneration of mammalian tissues.
These are snapshots of our research interests, for a more complete and updated list of current projects, please contact Yadong.
- 1998. "Catalytic Galactose Oxidase Models: Biomimetic Cu(II)-Phenoxyl-Radical Reactivity.." Science 279: 537-540. .
- 2002. "A tough biodegradable elastomer." Nature Biotechnology 20: 602-606. .
- 2011. "Substantial Expression of Mature Elastin in Arterial Constructs." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 2705-10. .
- 2012. "Fast degrading elastomer enables rapid remodeling of a cell-free synthetic graft into a neo-artery." Nature medicine 18: 1148-1153. .
- 2016. "Decellularized Zebrafish Cardiac Extracellular Matrix Induces Mammalian Heart Regeneration." Science Advances 2 (11): e1600844. .
Selected Awards and Honors
- Established Investigator Award (American Heart Association) 2012
- Carnegie Life Sciences Award (Carnegie Science Center) 2015
- Fellow (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)) 2014
- Dutch Heart Foundation Lecture (First International Symposium on Vascular Tissue Engineering in Leiden, Netherlands) 2013
- Grand Prize Winner, Pitt Innovation Challenge (University of Pittsburgh, Innovation Institute) 2014
- MS (Chemistry), Kansas State University, 1995
- Ph D (Chemistry), Stanford University, 1999
- Postdoc (Chemical Engineering), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002