June 2017

Doctoral student Wendy Brown successfully defended her dissertation entitled, “Engineering Osteochondral Constructs to Treat Articular Cartilage Defects.” Congratulations, Doc Brown!

March 2017

Doctoral student Le Huwe successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Functional Articular Cartilage Engineering for Regenerating the Patellofemoral and Temporomandibular Joints.” Great job, Le!

October 2016

Doctoral student Le Huwe received the Amgen Scholars Alumni Travel Award to fund her trip to the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERMIS) Annual Meeting in San Diego this December.

July 2016

Brian's DefenseDoctoral student Brian Huang successfully defended his PhD entitled “Scale-up of Engineered, Large, Anatomically-shaped Neocartilage with Robust Mechanical Properties.” Congratulations, Dr. Huang!

June 2016

Doctoral student Wendy Brown was awarded the Graduate Student Research Summer Award by the College of Engineering.

Wendy Brown also received a travel award from the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group to fund her trip to the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting in October, where she will be giving a talk.

May 2016

Wendy Brown BMEGG Best Oral Presentation Award 2016Doctoral student Wendy Brown won the Best Oral Presentation award at this year’s annual Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group Research Conference.

April 2016

Jeni Lee Best Dissertation AwardDr. Jeni Lee received the 2016 Zuhair A. Munir Best Dissertation Award for her dissertation “Bioactive and Mechanical Stimuli for Engineering Neocartilage with Native Tissue-like Tensile Properties.” As part of her dissertation Lee created a new biomechanical device that is the first of its kind to successfully apply tensile loading to fabricate cartilage. This discovery will help treat sports-related injuries and osteoarthritis. In addition to Lee’s research she has done extensive extracurricular work in STEM education and has a natural gift for mentoring students. And, she is noted for being active in entrepreneurial communities. Lee won the 2015 Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group Outstanding Graduate Student Award. As a graduate student she co-founded the regenerative medicine start-up ViVita Technologies that won the 2013 Big Bang! Business competition. And, Lee was named one of Comstock’s “Next Wave” of 10 young professionals on the radar for 2015. Lee is also dedicated to addressing the challenges women face in STEM fields. She served as President of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Association for Women in Science from 2015-2016 and helped launch the UC Davis Women in Leadership Seminar Series. Dr. Lee is currently an associate with Novo Ventures, an international life science investment company, in Boston, MA.

December 2015

Derek's DefenseDoctoral student Dr. Derek Cissell successfully defended his Ph.D. entitled “Toward Detection of Early Degeneration, Restoration of Function, and Evaluation of Regeneration in Cartilage.” He is now faculty in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. Congratulations, Dr. Cissell!

October 2015

CommitteeDoctoral student Jeni Lee successfully defended her Ph.D. entitled “Bioactive and mechanical stimuli for engineering neocartilage with native tissue-like tensile properties.” Congratulations, Dr. Lee!

January 2015

PhD/DVM candidate Jamie White was awarded the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program Fellowship for 2015 – 2107.

May 2014

Meghan's DefenseDoctoral student Meghan Murphy successfully defended her Ph.D. entitled “Engineering Functional Cartilage for the Temporomandibular Joint.” Congratulations, Dr. Murphy!

November 2014

Former postdoctoral fellow Raja Eswaramoorthy was appointed as an associate professor at Sri Ramachandra Medical University in India.

October 2014

Graduate student Le Wut Huwe unconditionally passed her qualifying exam! Her proposal was entitled “Engineering Articular Cartilage via Mechanical Stimulation.”

September 2014

Pasha Defense 2

Graduate student Pasha Hadidi successfully defended his Ph.D. His dissertation was entitled “Enhancing the Biochemical and Mechanical Properties of a Self-Assembling Scaffold-Free Tissue Engineered Knee Meniscus.” Congratulations, Dr. Hadidi!

January 2014

Graduate student Eleftherios A. Makris successfully defended his Ph.D. and received his degree with highest honors from the University of Thessaly.

PhD/DVM candidate Jamie White was awarded the Year-Long Exposure to Advanced Research (YEAR) Program Fellowship for Veterinary Students by the NIH.

December 2013

Gina's Defense

Graduate student Gina MacBarb successfully defended her dissertation. Congratulations, Dr. MacBarb!

November 2013

Graduate student Wendy Brown passed her qualifying examination! Her proposal was entitled “Engineering Skin-Derived Osteochondral Grafts to Treat Articular Cartilage Defects.”

September 2013

Graduate student Pasha Hadidi was accepted as a fellow in the Business Development Program at UC Davis, a program in conjunction with the Graduate School of Management focused on entrepreneurship.

September 2013

The self-assembly approach to cartilage tissue engineering was mentioned in this season of Grey’s Anatomy!

November 2012

Dr A Nemitsas AwardOn November 27, the President of the Republic of Cyprus presented Dr. Kyriacos Athanasiou with the Nemitsas Prize, the highest honor a Cypriot scientist can receive, and one of the most prestigious awards in the European Union. For this reason, it is often called the “Nobel Prize” of Cyprus. For more information, please click this link. (Nemitsas Foundation award announcement).
Project MERCCURIDoctoral student Wendy Brown is co-PI on Project MERCCURI, a team that has been chosen out of a group of competitors in the Space Florida International Space Station Research Competition to send an experiment to the International Space Station. The experiment will be launched to the ISS in December, 2013. (UC Davis press release)

September 2012

Dan Huey, Boaz Arzi Whiskey Jaw ReconstructionThrough an exciting collaborative effort involving Dr. Boaz Arzi and Dr. Dan Huey of the Athanasiou Lab with the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the regrowing of a dog’s jawbone following cancer gives promise to the use of such techniques in humans (Whiskey’s New Jaw – articles) (Direct link to video)

May 12, 2012

Athanasiou-Commencement-11Congratulations to Sriram Eleswarapu, Donald Responte,  Johannah Sanchez-Adams and Vince Willard on their doctoral commencement!

January 6, 2012

Dr. Grayson DuRaine was featured in Arthritis Foundation Magazine.

September 25, 2009

The lab was featured in the UC Davis Dateline publication:

August 2, 2009

Interview in magazine “K” of the Sunday Edition of Kathimerini (newspaper in Greece):

June 28, 2009

One-page article in the Greek-language publication BHMA (Vima) for research in cartilage regeneration. Vima is the largest Sunday paper in Greece. Title “Joints: Achievements in diagnosis and therapy” (

March 11, 2009

Michael Detamore has been promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure at the University of Kansas. Michael received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the Univ of Colorado-Boulder in 2000. In 2004, he received his PhD with us at Rice. In 2008, he went up for early promotion. And now, in 2009 he deservedly became a tenured faculty member. Congratulations!

February 2, 2009

A rebirth in stem cell research is featured in Houston Chronicle

January 11, 2009

Dr. Athanasiou and high school researchers are featured in St. John’s newsletter.

September 30, 2008

Dr. Athanasiou’s paper with Dr. Detamore and Dr. Mao was one of the top ten cited articles in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering in 2008. The article reference is below:
“Detamore, M.S.; Athanasiou, K.A., Mao, J.J. A call to action for bioengineers and dental professionals: directives for the future of TMJ Bioengineering. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 35 (8): 1301-1311, 2007″

September 29, 2008

Vidacare’s product, the EZ-IO, was the sole winner of Wall Street Journal’s 2008 Innovation Award Competition. The company was co-founded by Dr. Athanasiou and he invented the technology. For the news article, please click here.

August 19, 2008

Ben Elder successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Optimizing a Scaffoldless Approach for Cartilage Tissue Engineering.” Well done Dr. Elder!

July 10, 2008

Our lab’s research was reviewed in the July 2008 edition of the peer reviewed journal, LabAnimal. A pdf of the article can be found here.

June 25, 2008

Dr. Athanasiou received the The Thomas A. Edison Patent Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers “for addressing the significant health problem of articular cartilage repair through the invention of a patented technology, the only implant used worldwide to treat focal cartilage lesions in the knee.”

April 14, 2008

Chris Revell successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Characterization of Chondrocytic Differentiation and Optimization of a Self-Assembling Process for Tissue Engineering of Articular Cartilage.” Great job Dr. Revell!

February 21, 2008

Dr. Athanasiou was awarded the prestigious Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research by the Orthopaedic Research Society. For the news article, please click here.

December 14, 2007

Gidon Ofek successfully defended his Ph.D thesis proposal. Huzzah!

December 7, 2007

Eugene Koay successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Chondrocyte Biomechanics and Chondrogenesis.” Congratulations Dr. Koay!

December 3, 2007

Gwendolyn Hoben successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled “Self assembly of fibrochondrocytes and human embryonic stem cells for tissue engineering of fibrocartilage.” Excellent work Dr. Hoben!

September 19, 2007

The lab’s research on using stem cells to grow cartilage was written up in ISTOE, Brazil’s equivalent of Newsweek. Click here for the article.

September 10, 2007

An article about the lab featuring the use of embryonic stem cells to tissue engineer cartilage was published on MyFox Houston. Click here for the link. For the video interview with Dr. Athanasiou, click here.

September 6, 2007

A Rice news release of the labs achievements to grow cartilage using embyronic stem cells can be accessed here.

August 29, 2007

Benjamin Elder successfully defended his thesis proposal entitled “Optimizing a ‘scaffold-less’ approach to articular cartilage tissue engineering”. Confrats!

August 1, 2006

An article about skeletal tissue engineering featuring some of our lab’s research appeared in the August 2006 issue of the American Airlines magazine, AmericanWay. To read this article, click here

July 28, 2006

Benjamin Elder tied the knot with Bernadetta Maira. Congratulations to the married couple!

June 1, 2006

Najmuddin Gunja successfully passed his thesis proposal examination. Good job!

May 31, 2006

Adam Aufderheide successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Mechanical stimulation toward tissue engineering the knee meniscus.” Well done Dr. Aufderheide!

May 17, 2006

Roman Natoli successfully passed his thesis proposal examination. Excellent work!

May 11, 2006

Dr. Athanasiou was one of two receipients of Rice’s Presidential Award for Mentoring this year! An article pertaining to this award can be found here

May 10, 2006

Kyle Allen successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Mechanical characterization, gene expression, and biosynthesis of the porcine TMJ disc for the purposes of tissue engineering.” Excellent work Dr. Allen!

May 6, 2006

Kyle Allen, senior TMJ member, tied the knot with Stephanie Farrell. Congrats to Kyle and Stephanie!

May 3, 2006

Deirdre Johns successfully passed her thesis proposal. Good job!

May 1, 2006

Gwendolyn Hoben successfully passed her thesis proposal. Good work Gwen!

April 19, 2006

Dr. Athanasiou and Dr. Jerry Hu won the Hershel M. Rich Invention Award for their invention entitled “Self-assembling process.” This award was established by Mr. Hershel M. Rich and is presented annually to a Rice faculty or student who have developed or invented an original invention.

April 12, 2006

Nic Leipzig successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Growth factor effects on single chondrocyte biomechanics and gene expression.” Well done Dr. Leipzig!

April 7, 2006

Dr. Adrian Shieh received the Whitaker International Scholar Grant! He will use this grant as a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland under the supervision of Dr. Melody Swartz, who runs the Laboratory of Morphogenesis and Mechanobiology. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Shieh!

April 6, 2006

Adrian Shieh successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Mechanobiology of Single Chondrocytes.” Excellent work Dr. Shieh!

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