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Dr. William Federspiel Receives the Carnegie Science Award for Life Sciences

PITTSBURGH (March 19, 2019) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Dr. William Federspiel was selected as the recipient of the 2019 Carnegie Science Award for Life Sciences, one of 16 categories announced March 13 by the Carnegie Science Center. The award recognizes and honors scientific advances in new and innovative biomedical and life sciences endeavors that benefit the economy, health, or societal well-being of the region. 

Dr. Federspiel, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, directs the Medical Devices Lab in the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine where researchers develop clinically significant devices for the treatment of pulmonary and cardiovascular ailments by utilizing engineering principles of fluid flow and mass transfer. In particular, Dr. Federspiel’s lab  have created next-generation artificial lung devices, including portable, wearable devices for adults and children suffering from lung disease. 

His research in artificial lung technology eventually led Dr. Federspiel to co-found ALung Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based medical device startup company that develops technology for treating respiratory failure. He serves as head of the scientific advisory board for the company, which is currently running clinical trials for their Hemolung® Respiratory Assist System (RAS), a dialysis-like alternative for or supplement to mechanical ventilation which removes carbon dioxide directly from the blood in patients with acute respiratory failure.

“What motivates me about the research we do is that it all focuses ultimately on saving lives of patients, many of whom have no alternatives,” said Dr. Federspiel.

In addition to his research, Dr. Federspiel also actively teaches and mentors: he has developed five courses in the Swanson School and has been the primary advisor for 15 PhD students and 15 master’s students. 

“Dr. Federspiel has been a major asset to our bioengineering program, both through his research and academic leadership” said Sanjeev Shroff, Distinguished Professor and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair of Bioengineering. “His innovative and highly translatable work with respiratory assist devices has the potential to affect the lives of thousands of patients suffering from lung disease.”

Other awards and honors Dr. Federspiel has received include, Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE), member of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), and in 2014 he received an honorable mention in the Startup Entrepreneur Award category from the Carnegie Science Awards.

Dr. Federspiel and the rest of the awardees, including two winners and three honorable mentions from the Swanson School,  will be recognized at the 23rd Annual Carnegie Science Awards Celebration on May 10, 2019. 


Contact: Leah Russell