ACTSI Names New Georgia Tech Co-PI

The Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) proudly announces, Andrés J. García, PhD, as the new ACTSI co-PI for Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Dr. Garcia replaces Ravi Bellamkonda, PhD, chair of the joint Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, who will leave Georgia Tech and ACTSI this summer to become Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. Bellamkonda is recognized for his exceptional leadership of ACTSI from Georgia Tech and we wish him all the best in his new leadership.

As co-PI, García serves as the Georgia Tech leader on the ACTSI Executive Council. He will also provide leadership and promotion of the NIH-supported ACTSI at Georgia Tech. García is not an ACTSI newcomer, as his groundbreaking science has been supported by the ACTSI Pilot Grants program since 2008.

García, who joined Georgia Tech in 1998, is currently the Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Endowed Chair and Regents’ Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Director of the Interdisciplinary Bioengineering Graduate Program at Georgia Tech. García's research centers on cellular and tissue engineering, areas which integrate engineering and biological principles to control cell function in order to restore and/or enhance function in injured or diseased organs.

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García has received several distinctions, including the NSF CAREER Award, Arthritis Investigator Award, Georgia Tech’s CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, and the Clemson Award for Basic Science from the Society for Biomaterials. He was recognized as a top Latino educator by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and was elected a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering by the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, AIMBE, and AAAS.

Emory is a national leader in healthcare and biomedical research and provides outstanding training and education in clinical and translational research. Georgia Tech is a national leader in biomedical engineering and the application of innovative systems engineering to healthcare solutions. The institutions extend their current partnerships in healthcare, education, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research to synergize the ACTSI.

The ACTSI is focused on accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into healthcare innovations for patients by supporting Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), and Georgia Tech investigators. ACTSI has provided support to nearly 850 Emory, MSM, and Georgia Tech research investigators and over 75 clinical research scholars and trainees. ACTSI is one of over 60 medical research institutions working as a national consortium to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), shares a common vision to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients and to engage communities in clinical research efforts. It is also fulfilling the critical need to train the next generation of clinical researchers. The CTSA initiative is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).