Rice University bioengineer Kurt Kasper has been named the recipient of this year’s Young Investigator Award by the Society for Biomaterials. The award will be presented at the organization’s annual meeting April 10-13 in Boston.
Kasper, a faculty fellow in bioengineering at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, focuses on the development of novel biomaterials and approaches for the regeneration of orthopedic tissues, including bone and cartilage. In recent work funded by the Department of Defense, he and collaborators at Rice and in the Texas Medical Center are developing methods to facilitate the growth of large volumes of bone tissue for craniofacial reconstruction. Kasper also serves as principal investigator of a project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to develop an injectable mixture of polymers, adult stem cells and biologically active factors to promote the regeneration of injured cartilage.
Kasper joined Rice as a graduate student in the lab of Antonios Mikos and earned his Ph.D. in 2006. He remained in the Mikos lab as a postdoctoral researcher and was named a faculty fellow in 2008.
The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of biomaterials research, according to the society. Candidates must be within 10 years of the receipt of their most recent degree – a doctorate or equivalent – and must not be tenured at the time of nomination. Kasper will receive $1,000 and travel expenses to Boston for the conference.
In 2011, Kasper earned the Young Investigator Award given by the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society of North America and was selected for the 2012 Young Alumni Award from the Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University.