Biomedical engineering faculty researcher receives NIH grant

Jennifer Puetzer, Ph.D
Jennifer Puetzer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Jennifer Puetzer, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has won a grant from a multi-institutional resource center funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research and Training (AR3T) is supported by the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

Puetzer’s research focus is musculoskeletal tissue engineering. The $46,575 pilot grant will support Puetzer’s project, “Driving Zonal Stem Cell Differentiation with Developmental Mechanical Cues for Ligament-to-Bone Enthesis Regeneration.” This work will explore how mechanical loads, similar to those experienced during development, drive stem cells to form strong attachments to bone. Information gained from this research will help to create functional attachments to bone both in engineered anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) replacements and in the body after graft repair, and will reduce failure rates in ACL repairs.

AR3T brings together an alliance of laboratories at four institutions: University of Pittsburgh, Stanford University, Mayo Clinic and the University of Texas at Austin. Its pilot funding program supports researchers in the development of innovative, interdisciplinary regenerative rehabilitation research projects.