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Bioengineering faculty fellow Kurt Kasper wins
TERMIS Young Investigator Award

By Shawn Hutchins

F. Kurtis KasperKurt Kasper, faculty fellow in bioengineering, was selected as winner of the 2011 Young Investigator Award by the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) North American chapter.

The TERMIS award will be presented to Kasper at the North American chapter’s Annual Conference and Exposition, which will be held in at the Hilton Americas in Houston and co-hosted by Rice’s Antonios Mikos and Jennifer West, December 11-14, 2011.

Kasper was selected for the Young Investigator Award based on his outstanding achievements within the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field. His research at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative focuses on the development and evaluation of novel materials and approaches for the regeneration of orthopedic tissues, including bone and cartilage. He is a principal investigator on a $1.7 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an injectable mix of polymers and adult stem cells that promote growth of new cartilage in injured knees and other joints. He is the author of more than three dozen publications and has contributed significantly to the preparation of an undergraduate-level textbook on biomaterials.

“This award is a direct reflection of Dr. Kasper’s talents in taking fundamental research forward by developing technologies and methods that have great potential for future clinical use,” said Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; director of the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering and director the J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering. “I am delighted to be a part of the TERMIS conference and to support him in celebrating his hard work and accomplishments.”

Kasper earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering from Rice in 2006 and conducted postdoctoral research at Rice before becoming a faculty member of the Department of Bioengineering in 2008. He received his bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1999, and has conducted his doctoral and postdoctoral research in the Mikos lab.