Goal / Vision / Mission
TennIRM’s goal: To perform basic, clinical, and translational research in the areas of stem cell biology, 3D bio-printing, and tissue engineering. The goal is to translate scientific discoveries into new organ repair and replacement therapies for people suffering from organ damage.
Committee’s mission: To advance TennIRM’s vision of becoming the preeminent regenerative medicine body by providing a broad-array of expertise focused on science, education, industry partnership and regional economic development.
Committee Ground Rules
This charter is a living document and will evolve over time.
Scope / Role / Responsibility
Department Head, Natural Sciences, Southwest Community College
Robert Blaudow, PhD, serves as the Natural Sciences Department Head at Southwest Tennessee Community College and holds the rank of associate professor. He established Southwest's Environmental Health and Safety Office and led the academic EH&S unit for seven years. Prior to accepting a teaching position he served as project developer and study director for LifeCyte, a former Memphis Bioworks Foundation incubator company. At the helm of Southwest’s science department Robert created the Southwest STEM Open House and established the institution’s first science seminar series attracting globally and locally known speakers. He co-authored the department’s first internal OER microbiology lab manual and launched an initiative to develop OER manuals for all department disciplines. Robert completed the American Association of Community Colleges Future Leaders Institute. He served as a reviewer for Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology and publishers McGraw Hill and Pearson. He remains a Tennessee Promise mentor and sits on the Memphis Friends For Life board of directors.
Executive Vice Chancellor, UTHSC
As the Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Operations Officer (EVC/COO) Dr. Brown serves as the chief administrative and operations officer for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) campus with responsibility for providing leadership in the day-to-day operations of the 40-acre campus in Memphis. Dr. Brown has successfully guided the development of new facilities at UTHSC for more than a decade. He initiated the first UTHSC Campus Master and Strategic Planning effort, which led to capital construction exceeding $400 million and encompassing approximately 500,000 square feet of new construction and a similar amount of renovation.
Dr. Brown’s direct reporting units at UTHSC include but are not limited to Facilities and Capital Projects and the Office of Space Planning and Allocation. Further, he is executive administrator for the Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery solutions, a good manufacturing practices (GMP) and good laboratory practice (GLP) pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization (CMO). In addition to the oversight to the design and construction of the Plough Center he also lead the design and construction of the UTHSC Cancer Research Building, Translational Research Building, College of Pharmacy Building and the Center for Health Care Improvement and Patient Simulation buildings. With his deep experience in the planning, construction, and operation of research facilities, he is well qualified to lead the proposed Radiation Biology Vault Expansion at the UTHSC-TriMetis Animal Facility.
TennIRM External Advisory Committee Chair
Vice President U.S. Operations, FedEx Express
Shannon Brown is the Senior Vice President of Eastern Division U.S. Operations and Chief Diversity Officer at FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company. He began his career at FedEx in 1978 as a package handler at the Memphis World Hub. As he advanced in his career, he continued to demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and a strong commitment to service. His executive achievements also include serving as Senior Vice President and Chief HR/Diversity Officer at FedEx Express and as Senior Vice President of HR at FedEx Ground. He has attained many honors, including multiple FedEx Five Star Awards and the CEO Five Star Award.
Brown is actively involved with a variety of corporate, academic, and nonprofit institutions. He currently serves as a director of BancorpSouth, Inc., a financial holding company. Additionally, he was appointed by former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the Advisory Board of Western Governors University. His dedication to community service includes memberships on the Central Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and the Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis.
Brown has been named to Black Enterprise magazine’s lists of “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” and “Top Executives in Corporate Diversity,” as well as Savoy magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Executives in Corporate America.”
His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science from National-Louis University in Chicago and a master’s degree in intermodal transportation from the University of Denver. He currently resides in Memphis, TN.
TennIRM External Advisory Committee Co-Chair
Former Vice President of Global Biologics R&D, Wright Medical Group
With over 30 years in dental and orthopedic research and development largely focused on regenerative musculoskeletal biomaterials to address the greatest unmet clinical needs for bone and soft tissue repair, Ann is a recognized leader within the medical device community in the areas of product development, preclinical and clinical research, business development and executive leadership. Highlights of her career include launching well over 20 product families from concept to commercialization involving both hardware and biologics products, co-authoring ten peer-reviewed publications and being a co-inventor on three U.S. patents for products that are commercially available. Her experience spans a wide spectrum of challenges including conducting the first U.S. clinical trial on an investigational complex growth factor product in periodontal repair, designing mathematical algorithms for analyzing biomaterials by x-ray diffraction and leading the largest post-market total ankle arthroplasty clinical study nominated in 2020 for the prestigious Roger A. Mann award. In 2013 Ann was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC. She has been involved in Memphis-area committees including University of Memphis Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board, Memphis Research Consortium and Memphis Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Ann is a Biomedical Engineer from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and for 18 years has been a member of Wright Medical’s management team in a variety of leadership roles such as Extremities and Biologics R&D, Clinical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Quality and Reimbursement.
Deputy Director, TennIRM
James Carson, PhD, serves as the Deputy Director for the Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Health Professions, and Chief of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences. He received his PhD degree from Ohio State University. His training includes a National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral research in physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston and cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, funded through the Huffington Center on Aging. Following his post-doctoral work, Dr. Carson was appointed to the faculty at the University of South Carolina and established a program of muscle biology research for 19 years. At the University of South Carolina, he served as Associate Director for the Center for Colon Cancer, Department Chair, and Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Carson’s research employs molecular biology techniques with in vivo and in vitro models to examine skeletal muscle metabolic regulation with cancer, regeneration, and inflammation. The NIH has funded him as PI for over 16 years. Additionally, he has served as a Co-PI on several research projects and Co-I on many funded projects with junior investigators. He has over 115 peer-reviewed publications related to muscle physiology/biology, and his research has received over 8,000 citations. Dr. Carson is a standing panel member for both NIH and VA grant application reviews. He also serves as Associate Editor for three journals. As Department Chair, Associate Cancer Center Director, and Associate Dean for Research, he has been extensively involved in faculty mentorship in research and doctoral program development.
Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2)
Phil Cestaro is the Executive Director and Treasurer of the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2), a statewide network of hospitals and clinical practices facilitating industry sponsored clinical trials for University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) faculty. He is responsible for the overall leadership of CTN2, including building the network of institutions and capabilities across the State of Tennessee and the southeastern United States, overseeing the budget, services provided and procurement of new clinical trial projects. He is also Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Business Development at UTHSC, assisting the Office of Research in identifying and increasing research collaborations with pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. Mr. Cestaro has over 20 years of executive-level experience in small and large companies, growing multiple start-ups from foundation to over $100 million in value. He is the President and CEO of TriMetis Life Sciences, a tissue technology company with an innovative online marketplace and AI-based technologies helping laboratory, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies and academic institutions advance their research processes and workflow through state-of-the-art technologies, software, and imaging solutions. He received his bachelor's degree in English and Accounting from Washington and Jefferson College in 1993. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Georgia (inactive).
Director, Biologics R&D, Stryker
Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Memphis
Executive Director, FedEx Institute of Technology
Professor Jasbir Dhaliwal, PhD is Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of Memphis where he oversees the total research enterprise through the development and implementation of the university’s strategic research plan. As Chief Innovation Officer, he reports directly to the President and leads strategic innovation priorities to help modernize the university’s academic and research culture. This includes leading the drive to make the university a top-tier Carnegie R1 research institution. He also serves as the Executive Director of the FedEx Institute of Technology which promotes interdisciplinary research clusters, innovation, corporate engagement, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. He holds MBA and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia in Canada and has diverse international academic leadership experience including serving as Deputy Director for the Center for Management of Technology at the National University of Singapore and founding the first Canadian university-based internet incubator of Simon Fraser University. He is an expert in systems testing with a focus on large-scale, complex, and real-time systems and has completed projects for FedEx, the Joint Interoperability Test Command of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Nomura Japan, Memphis Light Gas & Water and others. He is the immediate Past President of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools and serves as President and founder of UMRF Ventures Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Memphis Research Foundation. In 2018, he was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the State Energy Policy Council of Tennessee. His honors include receiving the university’s Research Millionaire Award, the Papasan Professorship for Exemplary Leadership, the Alumni Association’s Eye of the Tiger Award and the Excellence in Innovation Award from the American Association for State Colleges and Universities.
President & CEO, EDGE Memphis
Reid Dulberger was appointed as the first President/CEO of EDGE in 2012. He concurrently serves as the Chief Economic Development Officer for the City of Memphis and for Shelby County Government. EDGE is the City and County’s economic development office. EDGE uses public resources to encourage job creation and capital investment in the community, runs the International Port of Memphis, and has a workforce development program.
Mr. Dulberger has nearly 30 years of experience in local economic development, having served with public and private entities in New York, Ohio, and Tennessee. From 2008 through 2011 he managed the five-year, public-private economic development partnership known as MemphisED. Part of the broader Memphis Fast Forward initiative, MemphisED worked with 17 partner organizations engaged in a broad spectrum of local development activities. Before coming to Memphis, Mr. Dulberger led local economic development efforts for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber (OH) and the City of Syracuse (NY). His work experience also includes policy analysis positions with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, both in Washington, DC.
Mr. Dulberger holds a Master of Science degree in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Master of Arts degree in Government from Georgetown University. He earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Florida International University. He holds two industry certifications – as a Certified Economic Developer (International Economic Development Council) and an Economic Development Finance Professional (National Development Council).
Vice Chancellor for Research, UTHSC
CEO of CTN2
Steve R. Goodman, PhD, serves as Vice Chancellor for Research at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) where he also serves as Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology in the College of Medicine; with additional appointments in the College of Dentistry, College of Graduate of Health Sciences, College of Health Professions, College of Nursing, and College of Pharmacy. Dr. Goodman has led creation of the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2) and serves as the President and CEO of CTN2.
Steve is known globally for his four decades of research into the structure and function of cell structures called membrane skeletons. As Director of NHLBI Sickle Cell Centers his research into sickle cell disease led to defining the molecular basis of the irreversibly sickle cell and his recent proteomic studies led to potential biomarkers for sickle cell severity. Dr. Goodman’s research accomplishments have led to over $20 million in extramural funding. He is a recipient of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM) Distinguished Scientist Award and his election as a 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.
Steve is a Past President of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairs (AACBNC). The 4th Edition of his textbook Goodman’s Medical Cell Biology just became available in July 2020. Dr. Goodman serves on multiple editorial boards and has been Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine (EBM) since July 2006. Since becoming Editor-in-Chief of EBM, Dr. Goodman has globalized SEBM and EBM opening offices in Tainan, Taiwan, London, Great Britain, Chengdu, China, Campinas, Brazil and most recently Ghana Africa.
Senior Director of Development, UT Foundation
Greg Harris joined the University of Tennessee Foundation (UTFI) in Janaury 2018 as senior director of development. Currently, Greg is responsible for philanthropic strategy and implementation for the areas of institutional research, capital projects, corporate and foundation relations, and the College of Graduate Health Sciences. He leads a team of development directors responsible for serving the College of Dentistry and College of Health Professions. Prior to working for UTFI, Greg was employed with several universities and nonprofits over a 30-plus year career in the Advancement profession. Prior to arriving in Memphis, Greg served as Life University’s vice president for university advancement in Atlanta where he led the development, alumni relations, postgraduate education, community investment and government relations. Greg has held vice president positions at several nonprofits and his experience and expertise includes the areas of fundraising, alumni and membership relations, event planning, data management, strategic planning, and government and community relations. Serving as the community face for many of his previous employers, Greg has served as a board member for chambers of commerce, libraries, and YMCAs. He recently ended his term as vice president of the Harris Family Foundation. Greg is married to Lindsey Fore Harris and they have two children. In addition to enjoying family activities, he is an avid college football fan and an investor in new technologies. Greg is a seeker of life changing experiences and has enjoyed hang gliding in several states; leading safaris in Africa; tubing over waterfalls; and touring with bands on the national stage.
Chief Scientist, TennIRM
Dr. Kang is a UTHSC Professor and Chief Scientist, Tennessee Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, and Professor and Director of the Regenerative Medicine Research Center at Sichuan University West China Medical College. He also is the President and CEO of Sichuan 3D Bio-printing Research and Technology Institute; the Director of Sichuan Regenerative Medicine Research and Technology Center; the Editor-in-Chief of the journals Cardiovascular Toxicology and Regenerative Medicine Research; and the Editor of the book series of Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Kang received his PhD in Toxicology and Zoology at Iowa State University in 1989 and completed postdoctoral training in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cornell University Medical Center in 1990. He was Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine (1991-1996); Associate Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology and University Scholar, University of Louisville School of Medicine (1996-2001); Professor and Distinguished University Scholar (2001-2017). He served several NIH study sections from 1997 to 2006, and other federal agencies including USDA, US-EPA and US-Veterans Administrations from 1996 to 2005. He was elected to Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences in 2001.Dr. Kang’s research interests are in regenerative medicine, focusing on 3D bio-printing and cardiovascular regeneration, as well as mineral manipulation of cardiovascular disease, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, and non-human primate models of human diseases. He is also an entrepreneur, and involved in several business operations, including the Founder and President of Innolife Co, Founder and Past-CEO of Revotek, and Chief Scientist of Tesly Co. His business is involved in commercialization of regenerative medicine technologies.
Partner and Chief Resource Officer; General Manager, R&D Center, Revotek USA
Dun Liu serves as Chief Research Officer of Revotek, USA, oversees Revotek’s product pipeline research, partnership developments, and is responsible for shaping and developing Revotek’s intellectual property strategies. Dun Liu graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) in optoelectronics in 2008 and received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Dundee (UK) in 2013. He has a wide range of experience in material science, regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, and biomedical engineering. He has expertise in the medical applications of stem cell technology, nanomaterials, electroporation/sonoporation/magnetoporation, and is familiar with keyhole surgery, next-generation sequencing technology, and high-intensity focused ultrasound technology (HIFU).
Director of Biologics R&D, Spinal & Biologics, Medtronic
Dan Shimko has worked at Medtronic Spinal since 2005. Beginning in 2011 he has led Research and Technology activities and Product Development efforts for Medtronic’s global demineralized bone matrix portfolio. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland in Biological Resources Engineering in 2000 and was awarded a PhD from Tulane University in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 for studies in bone tissue engineering. Dan has a strong science and engineering background, is a Technical Fellow in Medtronic’s Spinal division, is an AIMBE Fellow, and serves on the University of Memphis BME advisory board. He has authored 9 publications, holds over 50 issued medical device patents, and has developed and launched numerous tissue-based products and medical devices supporting spinal, orthopedic, and dental/COMFS disciplines during his career.
Executive Director, TennIRM
Gábor Tigyi serves as Executive Director, Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is the Harriet Van Vleet Endowment Professor in Oncology Research in Department of Physiology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research for Industry Relations and Global Cooperation. His many honors include being External Member, of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest, The European Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences, Paris, Research Professor at Semmelweis University Budapest, Distinguished Chair and Professor at National Taiwan University, Taipei. He is founder and Chief Scientific Officer, RxBio Inc. USA. He received his MD from the University Medical School Pecs, Hungary, his PhD in Molecular Neurobiology and Biochemistry, From the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. He did postdoctoral training at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany, The Biomedical Center, University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the Department of Psychobiology, University of California, Irvine, CA. His scientific metrics include over 14,418 citations and a Hirsch Index 68. His primary career interest has been focused on the physiological and pathophysiological role of lysophospholipid mediators. He discovered lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) as a bioactive serum factor, and his research focuses on the isolation, biochemical structure elucidation, molecular target identification, and cellular signaling of LPA. He has made seminal contributions to LPA biology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology with over 220 publications. His work in chemical biology yielded several patents and multiple rationally designed LPA mimetics including octadecenyl thiophosphate that was entered the FDA approval process on the fast track for the treatment of intestinal radiation injury as a radiation countermeasure. His research has been continuously funded since the late eighties totaling over 40 million dollar in grants and counting. He has trained over 50 students, fellows and postdocs, who have successfully transitioned into faculty positions in the US, Europe and Japan.
Market President for West Tennessee/Arkansas/Mississippi, Cigna
John Webb leads a regional Cigna team in working with area health care professionals, health systems, employers, brokers and community partners to deliver innovative solutions to help improve customer and community health in West Tennessee/Arkansas/Mississippi. With over 30 years of experience in the health care industry, John most recently served as CEO & Managing Partner of Quantum Reach and has held leadership roles at Aetna, Unum and Rockwell International. A long-time leader in his community, John was named Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association of Atlanta, and was selected for the Executive Leadership Council which represents the Top 700 African-American executives in the U.S. He earned an MBA from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. John regularly returns to Pepperdine as a guest instructor for the University's Micro-Enterprise Program serving the homeless community.