Alan Russel

In 1987, Russell completed his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. Russell also served as a NATO Research Fellow in Chemistry at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) from 1987-1989. Professor Russell joined CMU as the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor in 2012 to launch and direct the Disruptive Health Technology Institute. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2017. Prior to coming to CMU Professor Russell was the Founding Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Russell has founded three biotechnology companies and was also the Founding President of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. Dr. Russell was the longest serving member of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration and Chaired the 10-year scientific review of the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, publishing the key “Protecting the core of CDRH regulatory science in the face of financial and strategic threats” report. Dr. Russell has served many scientific roles for the Department of Defense, including working for the Defense Health Board and being the founding Co-Director of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine. For the last 25 years, the Russell laboratory has been discovering what can be achieved by exploiting the rich interface of chemistry, biology and materials. Dr. Russell’s work has impacted fields as diverse as chemical and polymer synthesis to tissue engineering and homeland defense. Dr. Russell has pioneered how to make polymers from enzymes and how to incorporate enzymes into bulk polymers. In a series of discoveries Dr. Russell’s laboratory has found how to meld the synthetic and biological worlds.