Brian Amsden awarded McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering

Posted on May 24, 2016

Five-year term commencing May 1

Brian Amsden

Dr. Brian Amsden

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Brian Amsden, Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering has been awarded the Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering for a five year term, effective May 1, 2016.

Dr. Amsden assumes the Chair from Dr. Tim Bryant who has held the inaugural appointment since 2011.  As set out in the terms of the award, an Advisory Committee was struck, at the end of Dr. Bryant’s term and invited applications from all faculty members in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.  The Committee included representation from the departments of Chemical, Electrical and Computer, Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the Clinical Science disciplines. 

Dr. Amsden has been with Queen’s University since 2000 and is a strong and passionate advocate for biomedical engineering.  The primary focus of Dr. Amsden’s research is two-fold: the development of new polymer biomaterials for use in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine applications and for localized drug delivery. He, along with his research group, have new and ongoing projects in each of these areas that will form the nucleus of his research over the next five years.  For each research project the group undertakes, the polymer is designed for the desired application with consideration of cell-biomaterials interactions, degradation mechanism and rate, mode of implantation, location of implantation, host response, the required mechanical properties, and ultimate elimination route from the body.  Many of these projects are being developed in collaboration with colleagues at Queen’s, at other universities, and within industry, who possess expertise that complements that of Dr. Amsden’s.  Such collaborations allow the projects to develop at a fast pace and provide a unique, enriched, and multidisciplinary training opportunity to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and undergraduates. 

Highlighting only a few of Dr. Amsden’s extensive research projects: he is currently the Director of a recently awarded NSERC CREATE program, focused on the development of tissue engineering/regenerative medicine treatment strategies for damaged soft connective tissues. In this program his projects include the engineering of replacement anterior cruciate ligaments, and the development of minimally invasive approaches for the delivery of stem cells isolated from fat tissue to regenerate deteriorated or damaged articular cartilage in the knee and hip as well as damaged tissue in the disks of the spine.  Outside of the CREATE program, he is working on stem cell and drug delivery strategies to treat a condition called critical limb ischemia. In this condition, arteries that supply blood to the lower leg are blocked with plaque and the tissue becomes starved of oxygen and nutrients, leading to poor function as well as an inability to fight off infection. The goal of the strategies being developed is to grow new blood vessels to feed the starved tissue. He is also investigating the role of polymer flexibility on the ability of cells to attach, grow, and function, with the objective of designing effective materials for implantable drug delivery and as a basis for tissue engineering approaches.

In making this announcement, we would like to thank Dr. Bryant for his work during his five year term as the Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering.

Kimberly A. Woodhouse, B.Eng, Ph.D, P.Eng, FCAE, FBSE