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Bioengineering Welcomes Two New Faculty This Fall

Two new faculty members joined the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Bioengineering in the Fall 2018 semester. Mangesh Kulkarni joined the department as a research assistant professor, and Elisa Castagnola as a visiting research assistant professor.

Mangesh Kulkarni, PhD, Research Assistant Professor

KulkarniKulkarni studied bioengineering at the National University of Ireland Galway and completed his PhD titled, “Fibrin Mediated Proangiogenic and Secretory Control Gene Therapy for Compromised Wound Healing” in Sept 2012. Before joining Pitt, Kulkarni was a postdoctoral researcher in regenerative medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Over the years, Kulkarni’s research has been focused on the development of biomaterials-based tissue engineered systems for delivering therapeutic biomolecules and/or cells for tissue repair and regeneration.

Kulkarni will be working with Bryan Brown, assistant professor of bioengineering, at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He will continue his research on the development of biomaterials-based delivery systems. Additionally, he will work on molecular diagnostics and therapeutics, particularly involving non-coding RNA, and cell-free therapeutic strategies, such as stem cells secretome therapy.

Elisa Castagnola, PhD, Visiting Research Assistant Professor

CastagnolaCastagnola studied Robotics, Neuroscience, and Nanotechnologies at the University of Genoa in Italy and completed her PhD, “Carbon nanotube based coatings for low impedance neural microelectrodes,” in April 2011. Prior to coming to Pitt, Castagnola was a senior postdoctoral researcher in bioengineering at the Center for Neurotechnology and an adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

For the past decade, Castagnola’s work focused on combining research in material science and new microfabrication techniques for the development of innovative neurotechnology, advancing state-of-the-art implantable neural devices and bringing them to a clinical setting.

Castagnola will conduct research with Tracy Cui, professor of bioengineering, in the NTE Lab. She is currently working on the development of a new class of multimodal implantable neural probes with superior capability in neurochemical and neurophysiological recordings, as well as in electrochemical stability.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Kulkarni and Dr. Castagnola to our department,” said Sanjeev Shroff, Professor and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair of Bioengineering. “The addition of these two new faculty members will strengthen our robust regenerative medicine and neural engineering research.”


Contact: Leah Russell