Principal Investigator


Dan Simionescu

Ph.D., Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology, Bucharest, Romania, 1999; Biology

Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Professor of Bioengineering
AIMBE Fellow
Director, Biocompatibility and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory
Deputy Director, Clinical Research Programs and Operations

Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University

Director, Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine
Patewood/CU Bioengineering Translational Research Center,
Greenville Hospital System

Editor-in-Chief, Challenges in Regenerative Medicine


Graduate Students

Nicholas Rierson
BTRL Member since 2014

Many of the heart valve centric projects in the lab utilize our bioreactor to simulate the mechanical stresses of the human heart. I am working to improve the amount and quality of data that can be gathered from the bioreactor. A variety of techniques will be utilized including computer image analysis of pictures and video of the valve, and particle image velocimetry to study the flow mechanics of the valve in the bioreactor. The more information we can gather from heart valves in the lab, the better we can understand how they will act in the body.

Megan Casco
BTRL Member since 2015

I am a PhD candidate and I am working towards tissue engineering an aortic valve root using scaffolds, stem cells and bioreactors.

Harrison Smallwood

MS student, working on a tissue engineered vascular graft project.

Clayton Compton

Working on a cardiac muscle tissue engineering project.

Margarita Portilla

Working on a project related to cell sourcing for tissue regeneration. A variety of stimuli will be used for differentiation of adult stem cells towards mature target cells.


Undergraduate Students

Jack McLeod

Working on a cardiac tissue engineering project.

Patrick Williamson

Assisting Master's student Harrison Smallwood on a small diameter vascular graft tissue engineering project.

Matthew Bridges

Working with PhD candidate Megan Casco on a cardiac heart valve tissue engineering project.

Laura Herndon

Shadowing Graduate students in the lab.