2024-2028 Steering Committee Candidate:

Liisa T. Kuhn


Affiliation: Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.

Dr. Liisa Kuhn, PhD, FAIME, FASTM, FBSE, is Professor and Associate Department Head of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Her research seeks to design and develop novel biomaterial devices that improve tissue repair and regeneration, particularly in the very young or very old patient populations. She works on implantable drug delivery systems for localized, controlled release of therapeutics with applications in orthopaedics, dental implants, cancer therapies and gastroenterology.

Current research topic areas of Dr. Kuhn’s are bone repair and regeneration, cartilage growth plate injury repair, and 3D printing of elastomeric materials for soft tissue prosthetics. Previous research areas include development of nanoparticulate anti-cancer therapies and optimization of human embryonic stem cells for bone regeneration. Her ongoing funded research is centered on synthesis and preclinical testing of controlled release biomaterial coatings for bone grafts that provide timely, localized delivery of small molecules to boost bone repair in the elderly. These bone graft coatings modulate macrophages and other cells with a dysregulated secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules.

While working in industry prior to becoming a professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Dr. Kuhn gained valuable product development experience as Director of Development for small company she co-founded and participating in regulatory approval studies for an injectable bone cement developed by Etex Corporation. Her standards writing activity through the American Society of Testing and Materials for decades while being a faculty member has kept her current with biomaterials and tissue engineering industry-relevant activities.

In addition to her role as a professor, she is in the process of commercializing a medical device for esophageal repair and has recently co-founded Esophadex, Inc. with her clinician collaborator. Dr. Kuhn’s accomplishments have been recognized by induction in the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (2024), the Society for Biomaterials Service Award (2021), and election as a fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (2020), a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, 2018) and a fellow of the American Society of Testing and Materials in 2014.

Vision & Purpose:

I have the required biomaterials expertise and the biomaterials society leadership experience necessary to meaningfully contribute to the ICFBSE Steering Committee. Through a sabbatical in France and two other visiting professorships to France, combined with my current service as the IUSBSE representative of the Society for Biomaterials, I have come to highly value the benefits and synergy of foreign collaborations. Several years ago I served as the President of the US Society for Biomaterials and I would welcome the opportunity to participate on the ICF-BSE steering committee to create more meaningful biomaterials-based interactions at the global level. My research spans both industry-centric activities of product commercialization in addition to academic pursuits and graduate school education. I have strong scientific communication skills learned while serving as the American Society of Testing and Materials Subcommittee F04.42 on Biomaterials and Biomolecules. I am eager to put my communication, leadership and organizational skills to work for the ICFBSE.

I am a collaborative team player and am motivated to support ongoing and new initiatives that seek to foster professional interactions of biomaterials scientists and engineers together with clinicians and regulatory representatives. As a recognized role model for women in biomaterials science and engineering, I would be pleased, through ICF-BSE, to expand the inclusive community of biomaterials to developing countries via short-term exchanges and summer schools.

I agree to be nominated and I am willing to serve as a member of the Steering Committee 2024-2028.