Faculty and student entrepreneurs create innovation and impact and make people’s lives better. Their scholarly activities in translational research, teaching, and service bring the fruits of technology to the public. The translational imperative is clear: embrace complexity, engineer versatility, but deliver simplicity. The development of clinical biomaterials for regenerative medicine will be an example of implementing this imperative.
We created a synthetic extracellular matrix (sECM) from hyaluronic acid (HA) that affords highly reproducible, manufacturable, approvable, and affordable biomaterials. These injectable clinical materials are used for delivery, retention of progenitor cells for cell therapy. These injectable clinical materials are now commercial products three fields of use: (i) human medical devices, (ii) cell therapy and research tools for 3-D cell culture, and (iii) veterinary wound care and adhesion prevention.
(1) G. D. Prestwich, “Culture of impact: faculty as mentors for student entrepreneurs,” Science Translational Medicine 5, 169ed2 (2013).
(2) J. Burdick, G. D. Prestwich, “Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications”, Advanced Materials 23, H41-H56 (2011).
(3) G. D. Prestwich, I. Erickson, T. I. Zarembinski, M. West, and W. P. Tew. “The Translational Imperative: Making Cell Therapy Simple and Effective,” Acta Biomaterialia, 8, 4200-4207 (2012).
Glenn D. Prestwich is Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Presidential Special Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism at the University of Utah. He created and directs the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program at Utah. His research encompasses drug discovery in cell signaling, synthetic matrices for regenerative medicine, and glycosaminoglycan derivatives as anti-inflammatory agents. He co-founded 9 companies, including Echelon Biosciences, Glycosan BioSystems, Sentrx Animal Care, GlycoMira Therapeutics, Deuteria Agrochemicals, and Metallosensors. In 2013, he was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Other honors include the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology for 2006, the 1998 Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award & the 2008 Volwiler Research Award of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the 2010 University of Utah Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award, and the 2014 U of Utah Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award . During 37 years as a faculty member, he has published over 640 technical papers, patents, and book chapters, and has trained over 125 postgraduate scientists. He is also a pilot and sings first tenor in the Utah Symphony Chorus.