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University of Miami biomedical engineer

CORAL GABLES, FL (December 17, 2008)-Baruch Barry Lieber, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Miami College of Engineering and professor of radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), to support research studies that offer promise in the treatment of brain aneurysms.

The $1.9 million grant administered over a period of five years will help fund the development and optimization of assistive technology for a device created by Lieber to help heal brain aneurysms.

"Dr. Lieber's project addresses the important need for methods to treat brain aneurysms," said Eugene Golanov, M.D., Ph.D., program director of NINDS. "Although there are clinically available techniques to prevent aneurysm rupture, they are not ideal for all patients. We are optimistic that Dr. Lieber's work will lead to a useful alternative therapy."

The project for which Lieber won the award is titled, "Flow Divertors to Cure Cerebral Aneurysms." The focus of the research is to develop a tubular mesh-like device, which can be placed into cerebral arteries via catheters, to reduce the blood flow in an aneurysm, while keeping the arteries open to supply oxygen to the brain tissue.

"Slowing down the blood flow within the aneurysm leads to natural clotting, which prevents rupture of the aneurysm and elicits a healthy scar-response from the body, thus restoring the diseased arterial segment to its normal state," explained Lieber.

Dr. Lieber, is a professor of biomedical engineering in UM's College of Engineering, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Radiology at the Miller School of Medicine. He works in conjunction with the Vascular Biology Institute (VBI) on the medical campus. The VBI deals with all aspects of vascular function in health and disease with a focus on angiogenesis, coronary artery disease, aneurysm, and stroke, explained Keith Webster, Ph.D., director, professor and Walter G. Ross chair of the VBI.

"Dr. Lieber spearheads the aneurysm and stroke studies and has developed technology that is changing the field and will directly impact clinical treatments," said Webster. "We are working with Dr. Lieber's group within the VBI combining our novel gene and stem cell technologies with his cutting edge bioengineering approaches to develop new treatments that can be rapidly translated into clinical applications."

The collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Miller School of Medicine is part of an ongoing effort to forge interdisciplinary cooperation, said Ozcan Ozdamar, PhD., professor and chairman of the University of Miami Department of Biomedical Engineering.

"Dr. Lieber is an outstanding biomedical engineer and researcher with an established record," said Ozdamar. "His award is the result of our continuing collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Miller School of Medicine, aimed at finding innovative solutions to challenging medical problems"


Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz
University of Miami

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