Home About the AFIRM & RCCC RCCC, The Rutgers-Cleveland Clinic Consortium of AFIRM RCCC New Partnerships

Brian R. Barnes, PhD
Arteriocyte, Inc.
Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Principal Investigator

BRIAN R. BARNES’s research interests are in cellular signaling in tissue growth and metabolism. Previously an active duty Army Research Physiologist, he now serves as a Clinical Investigator and leads the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs effort at Arteriocyte, a stem cell research company and manufacturer of the Magellan® autologous clinical cell separation and NANEXTM Stem Cell Technologies. Dr. Barnes is also involved in multiple active clinical collaborations with the Institute for Surgical Research in San Antonio, TX.

Curtis L. Cetrulo, Jr., MD, FACS
Senior Investigator, Transplantation Biology Research Center,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Vascularized Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Laboratory,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Clinical Director, Reconstructive Transplantation Program,
Massachusetts General Hospital

CURTIS L. CETRULO, JR., MD, FACS is a reconstructive microsurgeon/hand surgeon and Clinical Director of the Reconstructive Transplantation Program of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cetrulo is Senior Investigator and Director of the Vascularized Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Laboratory at the Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cetrulo’s research efforts are directed toward use of mixed hematopoietic chimerism to induce transplantation tolerance to hand and face transplants. In addition, the laboratory has developed a preclinical model for temporary coverage of severe burn injuries by xenografting of alpha-1,3-galactosyltransferase knockout (GalT-KO) swine skin.  

Stephen E. Feinberg, DDS, MS, PhD

University of Michigan, Professor in Surgery, Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Surgery,
Medical School, Professor in Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry,
Dental School , Associate Chair of Research, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry

STEPHEN E. FEINBERG is a clinically active board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon with an interest in reconstructive surgery. He is also an NIH funded researcher who has developed a human ex vivo produced oral mucosa equivalent that has been successfully used in a FDA approved clinical trial. One of his present projects is the fabrication of a “set” of human lips made from autogenous tissue that will be a template for development of functional facial units. Dr. Feinberg is also a founding member of a “spin off” biotechnology company from the University of Michigan, Tissue Regeneration Systems, which has developed a platform technology utilizing a unique polymer-based biodegradable system for craniomaxillofacial, orthopedic and spinal reconstruction.

Harry C. Ledebur, Jr., PhD
President & CEO, Axonia Medical, Inc.

HARRY LEDEBUR is a Founder and President & CEO of Axonia Medical, Inc., a Kalamazoo, MI-based company focused on the use of tissue-engineered nerve grafts for the repair of the peripheral and central nervous systems. He has 10 years of executive-level experience in biotech and over 19 years of experience in large pharma, mid and small biotechnology companies.

Bohdan Pomahac, MD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Plastic Surgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)
Director, Plastic Surgery Transplantation BWH
Medical Director, BWH Burn Center

Dr. POMAHAC established the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, the nation’s leading center in face transplantation, and was awarded a $3.4 million dollar contract from the Department of Defense in 2009 to perform and investigate the outcomes of face transplantation. Most notable achievements of the program include: partial face transplantation in April 2009; the nation’s first, second and third full face transplants in March, April and May of 2011; and first successful bilateral arm transplant in the Northeast in October 2011.

David H. Sachs, MD

Professor of Surgery (Immunology), Harvard Medical School

Director, Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital


DAVID H. SACHS received his A.B. in Chemistry, Summa cum Laude, from Harvard College in 1963, and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard Medical School in 1968. He was a surgical resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston from 1968 to 1970 and then served as an officer in the Public Health Service at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland from 1970 to 1991, where he developed and directed a program in transplantation research as Chief of the Immunology Branch, NCI. In 1991, he returned to the MGH as Director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center and the Paul S. Russell Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Throughout his career, Dr. Sachs has worked at the interface between basic science and clinical applications in the field of transplantation. He has published over 700 research articles and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Douglas H. Smith, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair
The Robert A. Groff Professor and Vice Chairman for Research and Education in Neurosurgery

DOUGLAS H. SMITH examines novel biomechanical mechanisms of axon injury and repair. His group has recently discovered and characterized a natural process of extreme stretch growth of integrated axon tracts. By exploiting this growth mechanism, they create transplantable nervous tissue constructs that can serve as living bridges to repair damaged peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and brain. Dr. Smith has over 150 published reports and is Co-founder of Axonia Medical, Inc.


Thomas N. Tulenko, PhD

Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School

Director, Division of Surgical Research, Cooper University Hospital


Dr. TULENKO is Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences at the new Cooper Medical School at Rowan University and Director, Division of Surgical Research at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. His prior appointments include Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine and Temple University School of Medicine. His research expertise is in cardiovascular physiology and pathology with an emphasis on vascular medicine and clinical lipidology. He has been studying adipose-derived stem cells for almost a decade mostly in the context of developing tissue engineered blood vessels for bypass grafting, but more recenlty for bone regeneration and capillary network regenertion in patients coming to the regenerative medicine clinic he developed at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. He is funded through the NIH, the pharmaceutical industry, and various medical societies.