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.

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

Andrea Longacre

Assisting PhD candidate Megan Casco with her tissue engineering valve project.

Jesse Fisher

Pursuing a BS/MS degree; working on a vascular tissue engineering project.

Erica Brophy

Assisting PhD candidate Margarita Portilla with her cell sourcing for tissue regeneration project.

Madison Channel

Shadowing graduate students in lab.

Martin Groke

Working on a Departmental Honors Research project on cardiovascular tissue engineering.

Ryann Murray

Working on a valve regeneration project.

Rachael Christensen

Working on a valve regeneration project.