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How does an embryonic heart form? How exactly does one set about 3D printing a fully human, fully compatible heart valve? How does failure influence innovation? Is there more to a 3D printed heart valve than just the printing?
Today we have an exciting interview with Jonathan Butcher, a research professor at Cornell University, and one of his graduate students, Daniel Cheung. Before we get started I’d like to remind you to share our podcast with your friends and colleagues. The ideas you hear on this podcast will literally change your world and your student’s horizons. We discuss innovation, success, inventing, learning, and other crucial life skills. On today’s show specifically, Jonathan and I discuss the role of failure in learning. We discuss the path to research success. Oh, and we jump head first into the topic of 3D printing heart valves. There was so much to cover that we skipped the inventor secrets in lieu of the great interview. This is some heady stuff. Put on your diving gear. We’re going in deep today!
Jonathan Butcher currently directs the Cardiovascular Developmental Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. He joined the department in July 2007 as an Assistant Professor.
Prior to Cornell, Jonathan graduated in 2000 with a dual BS/MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia, where he studied impact biomechanics at the automobile safety laboratory. Jonathan earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2004, focusing on the mechanobiology of the aortic valve under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Nerem. There he discovered unique mechanosensitive properties of valvular endothelial biology and developed the first completely biological tissue engineered heart valve leaflet using native cells. This led him to study further into developmental biology as a NIH postdoctoral fellow in the departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Pediatrics Cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina under the mentorship of Dr. Roger Markwald. He trained in cell and molecular biology of embryonic heart development while developing novel technologies for probing biophysical perturbations of these processes. He won the BMES 2009 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award for the unique way in which he has combined developmental biology with engineering for applications in regenerative medicine. Jonathan collaborates with researchers in several departments across campus as well as at the Cornell Veterinary College, Weill Medical School, and Guthrie Clinic in PA. He sits on the scientific committee for the working group for heart valve biology and tissue engineering within the Society for Heart Valve Disease.
Jonathan and his wife Christine live the small town life in Ithaca with five kids (Maggie, Jack, Thomas, Emeline, and Charlie) and a dog (Daisy). Occasionally you can see him trying to keep up on the soccer field.
About Daniel Cheung
Daniel Cheung was born in Hong Kong, although for the majority of his life, he grew up in Oregon. He attended Oregon State University (OSU) and received his honors baccalaureate degree in bioengineering with a minor in chemistry. During his time at OSU, he had several undergraduate research experiences:
After graduating, Daniel applied for graduate school and landed at Cornell University where he is working on 3D bioprinting of tissue engineered heart valves and developing a bioreactor system to condition the printed valves under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Butcher.
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