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David Dean, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept. of Plastic Surgery
The Ohio State University




David Dean joins the Department of Plastic Surgery and the Center for Regenerative Medicine: Will focus on Bone Tissue Engineering

We are delighted to announce the appointment of David Dean, Ph.D. as Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery effective August 1, 2013. Dr. Dean comes to Ohio State University (OSU) from the Department of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH).  He has expertise in skeletal implant computer aided design, tissue engineering implant 3D printing, bioreactor pre-culturing of stem cell-seeded implants, and animal model regenerative medicine studies. He has a long history of funding from private foundations and government agencies. Perhaps most importantly, his patented technologies have been used by corporate partners to fabricate large format, non-resorbable cranial implants for patients. His research program at OSU is aimed at getting his strategies for tissue engineered bone implants to the clinic.

Dr. Dean will serve as Research Director of the Department of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Dean’s office and laboratory are located in the Biomedical Research Tower, within  the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapy (CRMCBT), thereby furthering the Department of Plastic Surgery’s extensive involvement in the CRMCBT. Dr. Dean’s research program emphasizes the design and fabrication of tissue engineered bone implants. Dr. Dean departed for Ohio State University one month after the start of his 20th year as a faculty member of the School of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. His work at CWRU began in 1994 following a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Institute for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University. He earned the Ph.D. at the Graduate School of the City University of New York in 1993, an M.A. at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1986, and two B.A.’s at CWRU in 1981. Dr. Dean’s primary appointment at CWRU was in Neurological Surgery where he received tenure in 2002 and directed the Department’s Imaging Laboratory. He also had secondary appointments in the Departments of Radiology, Oncology, Anatomy, Biomedical Engineering, and Orthodontics. While at CWRU his research was funded by companies, private foundations including the Whitaker Foundation, the Coulter Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the State of Ohio, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been a Trainer, Co-Investigator, or PI on grants from five Institutes at the NIH.

The focus of his doctoral and post-doctoral research was craniofacial morphometrics. At CWRU he developed design and fabrication strategies for cranial implants. That patented technology was the first to use image-based templates for the computer aided design and additive manufacture (3D printing) of medical implants. A start-up company, Osteoplastics, provided inert cranial implants to patients using methods developed by Dr. Dean from 1998-2006. The process of translating that technology to the clinic resulted is several of the 5 issued patents and 7 pending patents on which Dr. Dean is the primary inventor. Since the late 1990’s Dr. Dean’s preclinical research program has emphasized the development of tissue engineering approaches to regenerate large cranial defects. Working with industry partners and colleagues in other Departments at CWRU and at other Universities, Dr. Dean’s laboratory has developed implant design software and additive manufacturing (3D printing) fabrication strategies to 3D print resorbable cranial scaffolds. Recently, in collaboration with Ali Siblani, President and CEO of EnvisionTEC, Inc., Dr. Dean’s lab has used a patent-pending 3D printing process “cDLP”, an acronym for “continuous Digital Light Processing”. DLP refers to Texas Instruments’ DLP chip that is used to 3D print an entire layer at once. Dr. Dean has brought three 3D printers with him to Ohio State University. With guidance from the Department of Plastic Surgery and the CRMCBT, he is working to set up a 3D Printing Core as a shared resource.

Dr. Dean’s preclinical research into bone tissue engineering has often involved the resorbable polymer poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF). That polymer’s use for bone tissue engineering has been thoroughly investigated by Dr. Dean’s colleagues Dr. Antonios Mikos (Rice University) and Dr. John Fisher (University of Maryland). Dr. Dean’s recent work with PPF scaffolds involves seeding bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells, obtained in collaboration with Dr. Arnold Caplan (CWRU), onto 3D printed PPF scaffolds. These scaffolds are placed into bioreactors, built by Dr. Jean Welter (CWRU), where growth factor timing and dose are adjusted to first coax the seeded cells to sufficiently proliferate and thereby coat the scaffold. The growth factor regimen is then shifted to maturation, promoting the secretion of a bone extracellular matrix (ECM) coating. The powerful growth factors are left behind in the bioreactor when the scaffold is taken out and implanted in a bone defect site. Dr. Dean refers to these ECM-coated scaffolds as “tissue engineered bone grafts”.

Dr. Dean is married to Sharon Dean, Ph.D. She is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio Historical Society. Their son Matthew Dean is currently working at the National Institute of Mental Health at the NIH through the support of a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Dean to the Department of Plastics Surgery and the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapy.

Jose Otero.jpg
José Javier Otero, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology




General Mission
The mission of the experimental neuropathology laboratory is to seek fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of diseases affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. My particular focus is in the understanding of developmental and neoplastic disorders of the CNS. 
Project Focus

The Problem:
A major goal of this laboratory is to elucidate the etiologies of perinatal breathing disorders such as apnea of prematurity, CCHS, and, ultimately, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is a tragic disorder affecting 1 in 2000 infants. It is the second most common cause of infant death in the US, and although its incidence has decreased since adopting the “back to sleep” campaign, our epidemic of prematurity (which increases SIDS risk) threatens to increase the incidence of this disease.
Our Goal:
A goal of the laboratory is to develop a diagnostic screen that would be able to identify children at risk of perinatal breathing disorders such as apnea of prematurity or SIDS, and to triage their treatments most effectively.
Our Approach:
We propose to use induced pluripotent stem cells to model development of human breathing neurons. This “disease in a dish” model will help us understand how these neurons develop and can give us a tool to study genetic causes of apnea such as CCHS. Additional approaches include next-gen sequencing and animal modeling (i.e., transgenic mouse technology) of these disorders. 

Christopher Breuer, M.D., Deputy Vice Chair, Research,
Director, Tissue Engineering Program
The Ohio State University




Tissue Engineering Program, CRMCBT

Christopher Breuer, MD, Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD, and their tissue engineering team at Yale University will be joining the faculty of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine September 1st. Breuer and Shinoka were the first in the world to tissue engineer blood vessels and implant them in human infants for repair of congenital heart defects (Rebuilding a heart, Saving a Life). They currently have US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to conduct the first US human trial to investigate the safety and effectiveness of this method.Thanks to Larry Moss, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, for assistance in the recruitment efforts.



Jianjie Ma, PhD
Professor, Surgery
Karl P. Klassen Chair, Thoracic Surgery
Operations Committee Member, CRMCBT
Investigator, Davis Heart Lung Research Institute




Jianjie Ma, PhD, is appointed as Professor in the Department of Surgery, the Karl P. Klassen Chair of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery, effective July 1, 2012, pending the approval of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees. He will also be engaged as a Davis Heart Lung Research Institute Investigator and serve on the advisory committee of the newly formed Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies in the College of Medicine.
Dr. Ma comes to Ohio State from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) where he is a university-named professor and acting chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, as well as Chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine and Research. During his time at UMDNJ, Dr. Ma founded the Graduate Program in Physiology and Integrative Biology, which is jointly sponsored by UMDNJ and Rutgers University. He served on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. In addition, he served on several National Institutes of Health study sections and various editorial boards.
In addition to his faculty appointment with UMDNJ, Dr. Ma also founded his own company, TRIM-edicine Inc., a university spinoff biotechnology company. TRIM-edicine develops novel biopharmaceutical products for the treatment of several important unmet medical needs. One specific therapeutic protein is MG53, which targets diseases involved chronic and acute tissue damage. The other drug is ATAP, which targets apoptosis for cancer treatment.
Dr. Ma is an NIH-funded researcher, prominently and widely published on the topics of muscle physiology, aging, cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, apoptosis and cancer biology. He has authored more than 130 publications and holds 10 patents. He has assembled an international team of collaborators working on translational research. His group maintains close collaboration with pharmaceutical industries for joint development efforts toward translating basic discovery into clinical application.
Dr. Ma received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Wuhan University in China, and came to the United States through the CUSPEA (China-US Physics Examination Application) program after his undergraduate education. He was chosen to represent the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Graduate Student Symposium of Baylor College of Medicine, where he received his PhD in 1989. Dr. Ma went on to become an Instructor of physiology at Rush Medical College (1989-1991) where he received postdoctoral fellowship and research grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and a University Committee on Research Grant Award. Dr. Ma joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University in 1992, and became a tenured associate professor in 1997. In 2001, he was recruited to UMDNJ as a university-named professor.
Dr. Ma has trained numerous graduate and postgraduate students, and many of them have become leaders in academia, industry, medicine and law firms. He was an established investigator for the American Heart Association (AHA) and served as advisor for many AHA postdoctoral and scientist development fellows. He is an outstanding mentor and educator, and has coordinated the teaching of both medical and graduate students at Case Western Reserve University as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is also actively involved in teaching and collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and universities in China.


Brent D. Toto, MHA
Administrative Director, CRMCBT




Mr. Toto has extensive leadership experience in building teams and improving and expanding healthcare programs across the continuum of care in various settings. Expertise includes operations planning and management, start-up and multi-site operations, strategic partnerships, marketing leadership, regulatory compliance and financial management.