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2009 Program of The Forum for Medical Affairs

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"Nanotechnology in Medicine: The Next Frontier"

Program Announcement     Brochure 1   Brochure 2


Mauro Ferrari, PhD
Dr. Ferrari was born in Italy on July 7, 1959. He received his degree of Dottore in Matematica from the Universita’ di Padova (1985) before moving to the United States, where he was awarded his MS (1987) and PhD (1989) from the University of California at Berkeley, in Mechanical Engineering. He served as a Ricercatore (assistant professor) in theoretical and applied mechanics at the University of Udine (Italy, 1988-1990) concurrently with his doctoral studies at Berkeley.

He began his academic career at the University of California Berkeley in 1991, as a tenure-track assistant professor jointly in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials). In 1995 he was awarded tenure at the Associate Professor rank, both in Materials Science and Engineering, and Civil Engineering. While at Berkeley he also joined the faculty of the UC San Francisco/Berkeley Bioengineering Program, the faculty of the Applied Science and Technology Program, and the faculty of the Biophysics Program. He was the Founding Director of the Berkeley’ s Biomedical Microdevices (BioMEMS) Center. In the summer of 1998 he was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Microtechnology Center at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

In 1999 Dr. Ferrari was recruited to The Ohio State University as tenured full professor and Director of Biomedical Engineering. His academic appointments were in Mechanical Engineering (tenure home), Internal Medicine, and Materials Science and Engineering. He was the first holder of the Edgar Hendrickson Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Ferrari also took the opportunity to enroll as a medical student (2002-2004) while maintaining full-time status in his professional obligations. At Ohio State Dr. Ferrari also served as Associate Director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, and Associated Vice President for Health Science Technology and Commercialization. Visiting professorships in Italy during 2002 and 2003 included biomedical engineering at the Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa), nanotechnology at the Politecnico di Torino, and clinical methodologies at the University of Udine.

During the period 2003-2005, Dr. Ferrari was asked to split his time between OSU and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, where he served as Eminent Scholar and Special Expert on Nanotechnology, charged with establishing the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. Creation of the Alliance ( entailed envisioning and establishing the Cancer Nanotechnology Plan, the Cancer Nanotechnology Symposia, the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) at Frederick, Maryland, and setting up both the extramural and intramural cancer nanotechnology working groups. Launched in 2005, Dr. Ferrari’s Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer remains the largest research and funding program in medical nanotechnology in the world to date.

In 2006 Dr. Ferrari was recruited by a consortium of institutions in Texas, where he was given concurrent appointments at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Rice University, U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the University of Texas at Austin. These institutions, together with the Texas A&M Health Science Center (Houston) and the Methodist Hospital Research Institute, joined together to create the Alliance for NanoHealth, of which Dr. Ferrari was made its first President, a position he still holds.

Dr. Ferrari’s current positions include tenured Full Professor and Division Head, Division of Nanomedicine, in the UT Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), which is a multi-institutional Department serving UT Austin, UT Health Science Center at Houston, and U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is the Chairman of the BME component at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He is a tenured Full Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, School of Medicine; Professor, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Adjunct Professor, School of Health Information Science. He is also a tenured Full Professor, Experimental Therapeutics, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University; Adjoint Professor, College of Engineering, UT Austin; Affiliated Faculty Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program, Baylor College of Medicine; and Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering department and Biomedical Engineering Program, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston.

Mauro Ferrari has been an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers since 1992, serving as far back as 1990 as a reviewer, session developer, and session chair; during 1995-1996 he served on the Materials Committee of the Petroleum Division. He has been a reviewer for both ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics and ASME Journal of Energy Resource Technology. He is also currently active in the Materials Research Society, American Association for cancer Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Nanomedicine, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He was the founding president of the International Society for BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, which in 2004 merged with the American Academy of Nanomedicine. In previous years he has been a member of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, the Society for Natural Philosophy, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the California Academy of Sciences, the New York Academy of Science, and the International Society for Optical Engineering.

As a citizen of both the United States of America and of Italy, Dr. Ferrari has been given significant academic, professional, and other awards and honors by both countries. In the United States, he has received the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the National Institutes of Health James A. Shannon Director’s Award, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the first-ever Research Superiority Award State from the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund, and a Department of Defense Innovator Award for the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Congressionally Designated Medical Research Program. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

In Italy, he has received the Italiani Nel Mondo Award Mirko Tremaglia Award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been made a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and twice has been given Presidential recognition as leading scientist in the world of Italian heritage. He has also been given the St. George Award, Kraguyevac, Serbia.

His current research program includes projects funded by the NSF, NIH, the Department of Defense, NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA), the Department of Energy, and the State of Texas, among others. His current research portfolio exceeds $ 30 Million, and his career total exceeds $ 50 Million in total costs. He has published about 200 refereed journal articles and book chapters, has edited 7 volumes, and is series editor for Springer’s Fundamental Biomedical Technologies. He has given over 200 keynote and invited presentations at professional conferences and academic venues, in the field of engineering mechanics and materials, cancer, mathematics, nanotechnology, physical chemistry, medical pathology, radiology, and cardiology. Dr. Ferrari has to date been awarded about 30 U.S. and International patents, with many more currently pending.

He is editor-in-chief of Biomedical Microdevices: BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals, including Trends in Biotechnology, International Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design and Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Past service has included the editorial boards of Composite Engineering and of Composites, Part B: Engineering. He regularly serves as referee for many journal,including ASCE Engineering Mechanics, Acta Metallurgica et Materialia, Advanced Materials, Applied Organometallic Chemistry, Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Mechanics, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, IEEE Journal of MicroElectroMechanical Systems, International Journal of Solids and Structures, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Materials, Nature Medicine, Nature Nanotechnology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

His numerous master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral students are in faculty positions in engineering, physics or medicine at U.C. Berkeley, Duke University, Ohio State University, University of Washington, Georgetown, MIT, the University of Florida and universities in Italy and China, as well as in the private sector of various countries (e.g., in the U.S., Intel, and Texas Instruments).

Dr. Ferrari is active as an academic-entrepreneur. Among the companies he has founded are NanoMedical Systems, and Leonardo Biosystems, which is part of the portfolio of companies of NASDAQ-traded Arrowhead Research Corporation (ARWR). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of NMS and Leonardo Biosystems, and is Director of Scientific Affairs for ARWR.

C. C. Hook, M.D.
In the field of hematology, my particular foci are ITP, non-malignant hematology, myeloproliferative disorders, myelodysplastic disorders, coagulation disorders and palliative care.

In the field of medical ethics, I am actively involved in scholarship and research in the areas of end-of-life ethics, reproductive medicine ethics, genetic ethics, the ethics of biotechnology (including stem cell and cloning research), transplantation ethics, the ethics of new technologies (particularly cybernetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence), the philosophy of technology and science, and research involving teaching methods in ethics.

I have expressed these interests internally to Mayo by founding the Mayo Clinical Ethics Council, the Ethics Counsultatoin Service, the Ethics Education Committee, the Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board, the DNA Research Sub-committee of the IRB, the Institutional Ethics & Bioterrorism Task Force, and assisting the formation of the Transplantation Ethics Advisory Board and the Psychogenomic Ethics Advisory Board.

Externally, I am actively involved in several projects as Senior Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Bannockburn, Illinois, as a Fellow of the Council for Biotechnology Policy and the Wilberforce Forum, both in Washington, D.C., as a Fellow of the Institute for Biotechnology & the Human Future of the Illinois Institute of Technology/Kent Law School in Chicago, IL, and as a member of the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society in Washington, D.D.

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