The University of South Florida Center for Research and Education in Nanobioengineering, the CREN, was founded in 2009 at the College of Medicine to serve as a catalyst for advancing the basic and translational aspects of nanomedicine, tissue engineering and cell technologies at USF. The University is one of the fastest growing research institutions in the US according to the National Science Foundation, and the enhancement of its position through developing a nationally recognized nanotech program provides a significant boost to its research position.
Projects at the CREN involve a collaborative team effort among scientists and academics from an array of departments and fields. Electrical Engineers will be sitting down with immunologists and mathematicians to hatch new plans for diagnostic tools calculated to yield the highest quality information from the most compact device. The potential synergy from a meeting of these minds is incalculable. Combined with the continuing strides made in computing speed and capacity, there is virtually no limit to the potential for advancement in materials, devices and methodologies possible by such collaborations.
The multidisciplinary CREN team includes faculty, biologists, engineers, scientists and clinicians from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Medicine and Public Health working in a coordinated and focused effort to accelerate the translation of molecular and cellular knowledge into medical applications. They will collaborate with one another to develop integrative technologies but will also work with a number of companies located at the USF Technology Incubator in Tampa including Saneron CCEL, Inc., Natura Therapeutics, TransGenex Nanobiotech, Inc., Viagene Biotech, Inc., and the Draper Lab, Bioengineering Center at the USF Incubator and in St. Pete.
The Center is based at the College of Medicine and has satellite laboratories at the James A. Haley Veteran’s Administration Hospital Medical Research Complex and the Interdisciplinary Research Building. The Center currently has a membership of 20 Faculty and a number of staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
Shyam Mohapatra, PhD, Distinguished Health Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Internal Medicine is Director of the CREN. Dr Mohapatra has been Director of the Division of Translational Medicine since its inception in 1997 and has been instrumental in establishing interdisciplinary nanomedicine research at USF. He will be assisted by an advisory board and will report to the Vice President of USF Health.