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Tatiana Segura Named National Academy of Inventors Senior Member
February 20, 2023 | Michaela Kane
The NAI recognizes scholars who are rising stars in their field and are adept at translating their research into commercial success
Tatiana Segura, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, was named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. Senior members are recognized as leaders in their field with success in patents, licensing and commercialization, and for producing technologies that have brought significant positive impact to society.
“As biomedical engineers, the translation of our technologies for the benefit of human health is always in our mind,” says Segura. “I am deeply indebted to my lab members who over the years have collaborated with me to brainstorm better and more ingenious ways to solve problems and drafted the many patent applications that are required to ensure technologies are translated. I am also deeply honored that NAI has recognized me as a Senior Member.”
A renowned expert in the field of biomaterials, Segura holds joint appointments in biomedical engineering, dermatology and neurology at Duke University. Her lab is centered on developing biomaterials that can harness the body’s own ability to repair itself. To accomplish this, they design materials that can form into physical structures that send out biological cues that encourage surrounding cells to grow. Because the materials used by the Segura lab are made from natural substances, the biomaterials can be broken down and removed by the body as the tissue around it heals.
One of the applications of this work is in the brain, where these new materials could support the growth of new blood vessels in damaged areas, potentially limiting issues caused by strokes and other damaging neurological events. They are also developing materials that can be applied to the skin, with the goal of promoting new hair follicle and sebaceous gland growth, which could help minimize scarring and aide wound repair.
Segura has worked to bring this work out of the lab and into the marketplace via Tempo Therapeutics and BESE Biologics, two company she co-founded, which focus on using biomaterials to treat complex wounds and augment tissue growth and on implant surface treatments to prevent infection. She was also recently named the co-director of Duke’s Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, where she’ll introduce new programming and training opportunities to help students become leaders in biotech fields.
Segura will be inducted at the 12th NAI Annual Meeting on June 26, 2023 in Washington D.C.