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Scientific Advisors

Scientific Founder

Organovo is built upon the science of Prof. Gabor Forgacs from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Professor Forgacs elected to retain his position at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2007 and allow Organovo’s team to run all day to day operations from the company’s start, but he has always remained actively engaged in driving the company’s progress.  Prof. Forgacs remains on board as an active consultant, visits the company multiple times per year, and engages with our leadership much more regularly.  He has continued to co-publish with Organovo’s scientific team from time to time.  He joined us last year at the NYSE for our bell ringing ceremony, and recently led an all-staff meeting on site at Organovo.

Our scientific advisors are an unprecedented group of scientific pioneers in the field of tissue engineering. Between them, they have published more than 600 published journal articles.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D. — Columbia University

Prof. Vunjak-Novakovic is the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences at Columbia University, where she directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering and the bioengineering arm of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative. The focus of her research is on engineering functional human tissues for regenerative medicine and study of development and disease. Among her many recognitions, she is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a founding Fellow of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society, and a member of the Academia Europaea, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the National Academy of Engineering. 

Glenn D. Prestwich, Ph.D. — University of Utah

Dr. Prestwich is Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Special Presidential Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism at the University of Utah, where he leads the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program. His university research includes the study of biomaterials for tissue repair and tissue engineering and biological reagents. He co-founded multiple companies, including Carbylan BioSurgery, Inc. (medical devices), Sentrx Animal Care, Inc. (veterinary wound care), and Glycosan BioSystems, Inc. (cell therapy and research tools). He received the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology for 2006, the 1998 Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award and the 2008 Volwiler Research Award of the AACP, the 2010 University of Utah Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award, and the 2010 “Rooster Prize” of the International Society for Hyaluronan Science.

David Mooney, Ph.D. — Harvard University

Prof. Mooney is a scientific author and a leader in the research of signaling mechanisms of tissue development. He studies the mechanisms by which chemical (for example, specific cell adhesion molecules) or mechanical signals (for example, cyclic strain) are sensed by cells and alter cells’ proliferation and specialization to either promote tissue growth or destruction. This work assists in the understanding of cell behavior post-processing by the organ printing technology. Dr. Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard University, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. K. Craig Kent, M.D. — University of Wisconsin

Dr. Kent is the Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and previously served as Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at both Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Kent has authored or co-authored more than 300 manuscripts and chapters that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks on vascular disease. He is regularly invited to speak at local, national and international scientific meetings on a wide variety of vascular surgery topics. His NIH-funded basic science lab explores the mechanisms of failure for bypass grafts and angioplasty following vascular intervention. Dr. Kent served as the 2006–2007 president of the Society for Vascular Surgery. He was trained in general surgery at the University of California at San Francisco and completed his vascular surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital–Harvard Medical School, where he was awarded the prestigious annual E.J. Wylie Traveling Fellowship.