Joachim Kohn, PhD, FBSE is a national leader in the field of biomaterials science. In 1997, Kohn founded the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM), which has established a network for research and collaboration with 25 institutions and 40 laboratories. Research at the NJCBM focuses on design, synthesis, characterization and fabrication of new biomaterials for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Kohn has pioneered the use of combinatorial and computational methods for the optimization of biomaterials for specific medical applications. He is mostly known for his seminal work on "pseudo-poly(amino acid)s"- a new class of polymers that combine the non-toxicity of individual amino acids with the processability and strength of high-quality engineering plastics. Medical devices (a coronary stent and an antimicrobial device to prevent infections in pacemaker patients) using these materials have been implanted in more than 350,000 patients and are currently approved for use in 46 countries. As a translational scientist, Kohn has 72 issued US Patents on novel biomaterials and seven companies have licensed his technologies. He is the scientific founder of three spin-off companies.
In this brief talk, Dr. Kohn will provide an overview of the new initiatives in nerve repair being pursued at the NJ Center for Biomaterials. The talk is intended to provide a foundation and connection between the presentations of the morning and those following in the afternoon session.