University of Pittsburgh
June 13, 2002

Pitt Names New Chair of Bioengineering Department

Contact:  412-624-4147

June 14, 2002

PITTSBURGH—Harvey Borovetz is the new chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Gerald D. Holder, USS Dean of Engineering at Pitt, has announced.

Home to one of the top bioengineering programs in the world, Pitt had the most projects funded under the National Institutes of Health's Bioengineering Research Grant (BRG) program for 2001. With eight funded projects, Pitt had twice as many BRG-sponsored activities than the two institutions with the next highest number of BRG programs, Duke University and Case Western Reserve University.

A professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt's School of Engineering, Borovetz also holds an appointment in Pitt's School of Medicine as the Robert L. Hardesty Professor in the Department of Surgery.

Borovetz succeeds Jerome Schultz, who led Pitt's bioengineering program for the past 15 years.

Borovetz's research interests are focused on the design and clinical utilization of cardiovascular organ replacements for both adult and pediatric patients. Since 1985, he has led the University's clinical bioengineering program in mechanical circulatory support.

Borovetz and his colleagues are concentrating on two projects: developing miniature, rotary blood pump-based ventricular-assist devices for newborns and children, and creating highly efficient membrane oxygenators for acute and chronic respiratory support for pediatric and adult patients.

The mechanical circulatory support program supports heart failure patients who are implanted with an intra-aortic balloon pump, a left/bi-ventricular assist device, or a total artificial heart as a bridge-to-cardiac transplantation. Borovetz's work has helped cardiac surgeons apply extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to successfully treat a large series of neonates in respiratory distress at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.