PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science
Director, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials
Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry
Joachim Kohn is a leader in biomaterials science and widely known for the development of tyrosine-derived, resorbable polymers, one of which is now used in an FDA-approved medical device. Kohn's current research efforts focus on the development of a new "discovery paradigm" for revolutionary biomaterials using combinatorial and computational methods to optimize the composition and properties of biomaterials for specific applications, particularly tissue engineering and drug delivery. As a first demonstration of the utility of this approach, Kohn led a team of scientists who discovered an optimized polymer for use in a fully degradable cardiovascular stent which has been tested in clinical trials in Germany and Brazil. Additional clinical trials are planned. Kohn's combinatorial biomaterials design approach was also used for the development of optimized polymers by Lux Biosciences (ophthalmic applications) and by Trident Biomedical (orthopedic applications).
MBBCh FCSSA PhD, University of the Witwatersrand, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, University of Southern California
Associate Director, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials Research Associate Professor, Rutgers University
Hilton Kaplan is a Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and a Biomedical Engineer. His research focuses on neurosciences (neural prosthetics and implantable man-machine interfaces), and tissue engineering (decellularized composite tissues for limb and face allotransplantation). Dr. Kaplan is Associate Director of the NJ Center for Biomaterials and a Research Associate Professor at Rutgers University; and an Adjunct Professor in Regulatory Science at the University of Southern California. Dr. Kaplan has held various clinical and research positions in industry, including Senior Medical Director at Allergan (Fortune 500 healthcare) and Vice President of Clinical Sciences at LifeCell (pioneered decellularizing dermis). He has a long history of passionately advocating for burn prevention and reconstruction (as a burn surgeon, a founding board member of the non-profit Grossman Burn Foundation, and the adoptive father of a spirited burn survivor), and for craniofacial reconstruction (as a founding director of the non-profit Look-at-Us Alliance for Craniofacial Differences).
PhD, Leicester Polytechnic
Professor of Pharmaceutics
Ernest Mario College of Pharmacy, Rutgers
Bozena Michniak’s research group focuses on biological membrane drug transport and delivery, involving principally topical and transdermal drug delivery. The main interest is the enhancement of drug permeation using chemical and physical techniques (iontophoresis, microneedles) as well as novel carriers (nanospheres). She also works on the tissue engineering of a full-thickness human skin equivalent, based on the co-culture of fibroblasts and keratinocytes using collagen and novel polymer meshes as dermal matrices.
Sangya S. Varma
MSc, PhD; IIT, University of Southern Mississippi
Chief Operating Officer, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials
Associate Research Professor, Rutgers University
Sangya S. Varma is a Scientist: an inventor, an innovator and an educator. She developed a novel imaging technology and converted it into FDA approved and CE marked medical devices during her career in industry (International Specialty Products, Inc. now Ashland, Inc.). She is a key contributor in developing Rutgers Master of Business and Science Degree program (as Director of Rutgers PSM program, Professor in Regulatory Affairs, Academic Advisor and Mentor, Curricula & Course Developer – specifically in Drug Discovery Development and Personal Care Science). Dr. Varma is passionate about the real world applications of Biomaterials.