The Herbert J. Berman Chair in Vascular Bioengineering.
Incumbent: Prof. Amit Gefen
The research interests of Professor Amit Gefen are in studying normal and pathological effects of biomechanical factors on the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs, with emphasis on the musculoskeletal system and applications in chronic wound research. Prof. Gefen uses cell and tissue engineering approaches as well as computer modeling and simulations extensively for that purpose, primarily because they reduce the need for animal model studies. His group has considerable expertise in experimental studies in cell mechanics and tissue engineering which they are coupling with computational models of the mechanical behavior of cells as well as hard and soft biological tissues. The research output and publication record of Prof. Gefen’s group over the last two decades (over 270 journal articles and several scientific books, most of which focus on chronic wounds) substantially advanced the field of prevention and treatment of chronic wounds at an international scale. His findings have shaped the Aetiology Chapter of the International Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries (2014 & 2019 versions) which is implemented in numerous hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities all over the world.
Professor Gefen is now focusing his research efforts on the devastating problem of pressure ulcers/injuries in wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury, as well as in the elderly and infirm populations and in pediatrics. Pressure ulcers/injuries are unfortunately common in these populations but are poorly studied from a basic science perspective. By taking a quantitative bioengineering, integrated experimental-computational and multiscale approach which is unconventional and unique in this field, with a focus on tissue-engineered model systems and computer modeling and simulations, he conducts significant and clinically-relevant research, which then translates to practice in terms of guidelines and technological advancements. The scientific outcomes of his work are already being used to prevent mortality, massive surgical corrections and foot amputations, reduce patient suffering and relieve the heavy financial burden that pressure ulcers/injuries and diabetic foot ulcers impose worldwide.