Research Highlights

Faculty: Richard A. F. Clark, MD
Director, Center of Tissue Engineering, Stony Brook University
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University
Professor and founding chair, Department of Dermatology, Stony Brook University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, Stony Brook University

How to engineer skin tissue to heal burns and wounds?

Skin is an important tissue for reconstructive surgery of burns victims and for wound healing as well as healing of diabetes related ulcers. Dr. Clark has had an abiding interest in wound healing for 30 years and has made many seminal observations regarding the sources and significance of the fibronectin (FN) protein in wounds and wound healing. In the past, his laboratory has discovered that fibronectin appears in wounds immediately after injury, first from the blood, then from in situ production. Recently, they have discovered the bioactive peptides within the fibronectin structure that enhance the activity of growth factors and act as survival factors for tissue cells. These important discoveries have recently allowed their foray into translational research. Currently, the overarching goal of the Clark laboratory is to design delivery systems for FN domains and peptides that are required for normal wound repair or regeneration and that may enhance the healing of chronic or extensive acute wounds. In addition, the laboratory has begun to explore the use of other biological actives to prevent progression of burns and other extensive injuries. He is now applying that knowledge to the development of systemic and topical treatments to prevent burn injury progression and to promote scarless healing.

Dr. Clark is the scientific founder of NeoMatrix Formulations, Inc and FibroMatrix, LLC. These companies are in the development phase of moving novel bioactive peptides discovered in his laboratory and biopolymer composites created in his laboratory to the market place.

Dr. Clark’s group is collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team of scientist and engineers including Frances Johnson (Chemistry and Pharmacology), Stuart McLaughlin (Biophysics), Richard Kew (Pathology), Miriam Rafailovich (Materials Science), Dan Raleigh (Chemistry), Sandy Simon (Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Pathology) and Adam Singer (Emergency Medicine) from Stony Brook University; Dafna Bar-Sagi, Professor and Chair of Biochemistry at NYU; Arnold Caplan, Professor of Biology and General Medical Sciences at Case Western; Linda Griffith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at MIT; Joachim Kohn, Professor of Chemistry at Rutgers; Dean Mosher, Professor of Biochemistry, Univ of Wisconsin; George Muschler, Professor of Orthopedics and Biomedical Engineering at Cleveland Clinic: and Glenn Prestwich, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Univ Utah. In additional multiple high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students and post-doctoral fellows have been part of his group.

While at Stony Brook University, he has been the recipient of a 10-year National Institute of Health Merit Award as well as several other NIH RO1 type awards. Currently he is the recipient of grant awards funded by the NIH, the State of New York and the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University as well as a recent Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) award.