Graduate Students Attend Lunch with BiomedSA Recipient of the 2019 Award for Innovation in Healthcare & Bioscience
GSBS students enjoyed an informal lunch on Sept. 19 with Stephen Badylak, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.D., the recipient of the 2019 BioMedSA Award for Innovation in Healthcare & Bioscience.
Dr. Badylak is a pioneer in the field of stem cell and tissue regeneration and currently is professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Badylak’s discoveries have been translated to medical applications that have helped millions of patients, and his intellectual property has contributed significantly to the multibillion-dollar regenerative medicine industry.
He holds more than 70 U.S. patents, and over 300 patents worldwide, across the fields of biomaterials, medical devices and tissue engineering. He has prioritized clinical translation of his ideas, resulting in more than 40 of his patents being licensed to industry. He has also founded two biotech companies and currently serves as co-founder and chief science officer of ECM Therapeutics, Inc. in Pittsburgh.
In 2018, Dr. Badylak was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has authored more than 380 scientific publications and 50 book chapters, and recently edited a textbook entitled “Host Response to Biomaterials.”
During the lunch, students were able to ask questions and learn about his career.
“Not often do students get the chance to personally meet esteemed individuals in the medical field, such as Dr. Badylak. And when we do, it’s typically in a crowded lecture room and with little Q & A time to hear the pivotal stories that helped them to shape their careers,” said Shawn Gray, a student in the joint UTSA/UT Health San Antonio Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program.
Gray explained that the lunch session very useful because like most student attendees, he is almost finished with his degree and at the crossroad between deciding between a career in industry vs. a career in academia.
“As Dr. Badylak put it, you have to go with your gut feeling and truly trust your instincts. Only then, you will truly find a career that makes you happy to show up to work each day. I find it excellent advice because I find myself leaning towards a career in industry, while waffling with the reluctance of a possible career in academia. I trust that if I can continue to work hard and do what I’m passionate about, things will fall into place for me, just as they did for Dr. Badylak.”