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Elliot L. Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Faculty

Elliot is Chairman of the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Dr. Chaikof has promoted alliances of clinicians, engineers, chemists, and biologists and in the process developed biologically-inspired materials, devices, and pharmacotherapeutics based upon the principles of molecular engineering and nanofabrication technologies. These endeavors have enabled advances in cell-based therapies, artificial organs, and engineered living tissues, which define the evolving field of Regenerative Medicine. Prior to his current position at Harvard Medical School, he held the John E. Skandalakis Chair of Surgery at Emory University, serving as Chief of Vascular Surgery and also served as Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering and a member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His laboratory has received over $35 million in federal funding for basic science investigations from the NIH and NSF, as well as funding from the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. In addition, he served as Emory University PI of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, a 10-year $40 million NSF sponsored Engineering Research Center. To date, Dr. Chaikof has supervised over 40 postdoctoral research associates, 15 doctoral students, 4 masters students, and approximately one dozen undergraduate students. Approximately one dozen lab alumni currently hold tenured or tenure-track faculty positions in Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, and Surgery. Other members of the laboratory have assumed leadership positions in industry, including positions at Genzyme, Genetech, Merck, Amgen, Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Atrium Medical, Baxter, and Kimberly-Clark.

Significantly, Dr. Chaikof’s laboratory investigations have determined that robust, chemically heterogeneous, and biologically functional membrane-mimetic systems can be used to biochemically remodel abiotic and living cell and tissue surfaces. These investigations were among the first to demonstrate that the protein C pathway can be utilized in the design of antithrombogenic and anti-inflammatory interfaces for blood contacting cells, tissues, and devices. It is anticipated that these strategies will have a significant impact in the areas of vascular, cardiac, and plastic surgery, as well as cell transplantation. Dr. Chaikof has also demonstrated that biologically inspired elastin- and collagen-mimetic proteins, as well as glycosaminoglycan-mimetic compounds can be designed using genetic and chemical approaches as architectural design elements for the generation of blood vessels and other engineered tissues, as well as for the delivery of growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents. The results of these studies have been reported in over 250 publications in high impact journals in the fields of chemistry and materials science, including Macromolecules, Langmuir, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Biomacromolecules, Angewandte Chemie, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Approximately 20 patents have been filed or issued based on these studies. Dr. Chaikof’s technology has lead to the formation of Cool-Bio, Inc., which is focused on the development of temperature sensitive platelet inhibitors.

Dr. Chaikof’s translational clinical research investigations have been supported by grants from industry and the NIH and reported in major surgical journals. He has been the PI for over 30 clinical trial protocols directed at endovascular therapies for aortic aneurysms, carotid disease, and peripheral arterial disease, as well as novel biologics, gene therapy, and tissue engineered products for the cure of venous and arterial disease. Significantly, he has either Chaired or has been a major participant on multiple national and international committees that have published clinical practice guidelines that impact the care of patients with vascular disease.

Dr. Chaikof earned BA and MD degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and completed a residency in General Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. While a surgical resident, he received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently completed additional training in Vascular Surgery at the Emory University. Dr. Chaikof has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering, and the American Surgical Association, and has served as President of the International Society of Applied Cardiovascular Biology. He has also served on study sections for the NIH (Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences; Biomaterials and Biointerfaces), AHA, NSF, and JDRF, and has lectured at Gordon and Cold Spring Harbor Conferences, as well as at NIH Symposia on Reparative Medicine.  He was the recipient of the 2013 Clemson Award in Applied Research from the Society for Biomaterials and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014.

His leadership of clinical units and large research projects that span and bring together schools of Medicine and Engineering and constituency organizations has contributed to public policy designed to improve the quality of care of the surgical patient.

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