HOUSTON (Aug. 12, 2010) - Dr. Mauro Ferrari, an internationally recognized leader, collaborator and scientist specializing in biomedical nanotechnology, was named President and CEO of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute today.
"My goal is to develop technology to transform patient care," Ferrari said. "A hospital-based research institute is an ideal place to do that. Methodist's vision combined with its clinical expertise provides a historic opportunity to conquer society's most devastating diseases. The Methodist Hospital Research Institute is directly tied to clinicians and patients, so we can move the best in medical technology to the patient faster - for better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease."
Ferrari's leadership and expertise in biomedical nanotechnology are well established. He served as Special Expert on Nanotechnology at The National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he led the development of the NCI's program in nanotechnology, which remains the largest nanomedicine program in the world. He has more than 30 U.S. and international patents and has founded multiple startup companies, including NanoMedical Systems and Leonardo Biosystems. Ferrari was also the first recipient of a Research Superiority Award of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
"The 21st century will be shaped by the life sciences. The visionary commitment of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and the collaborative leadership of Dr. Ferrari will assure that Houston and the Texas Medical Center will remain at the forefront of progress," said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, former director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"Dr. Ferrari is an exceptional leader who will guide research at Methodist and foster collaborative relationships to push the boundaries of what medicine can cure, and he has a proven track record of putting together multi-institutional research groups," said Ron Girotto, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System. "He will help Methodist recruit more of the best research teams, as we grow into our new 440,000 square foot building dedicated to medical research."
Ferrari's scientific interests include cancer, traumatic injury, cardiovascular medicine, infectious diseases and diabetes. He has pioneered the use of biomedical nano- and microtechnology (BioMEMS), to discover more effective, safer means of drug delivery, laboratory diagnostics, and regenerative medicine. He has a strong interest in bioethics.
"Dr. Ferrari is gifted in leading large teams, who enjoy working with him," said Dr. Fazle Hussain, member of the National Academy of Engineering and Hugh R. & Lillie C. Cullen Distinguished University Chair at UH, "He is undoubtedly a visionary leader, focused on the critical challenges, not merely today, but mostly a decade or two in the future. Methodist could not have found a greater talent."
Ferrari holds a Ph.D in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his doctorate in mathematics from Universita' di Padova in Italy.
Ferrari is the president of the Alliance for NanoHealth, and he serves as professor of experimental therapeutics at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and professor of bioengineering at Rice University. He is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He most recently has served as chair of the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. At Ohio State University, he served as professor of bioengineering, professor of internal medicine, professor of mechanical engineering, and scientific founder and advisor of the Ohio MicroMD Lab. At University of California at Berkeley, Ferrari served as a tenured associate professor of materials science and engineering and tenured associate professor civil and environmental engineering. He has over 200 published works and has been invited to speak on biomedical nanotechnology and other topics worldwide.
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute was established in 2004 to conduct essential translational research. It is home to more than 1,000 credentialed physicians, faculty and staff and more than 700 ongoing clinical trials. In his new role, Ferrari will provide leadership and organizational direction, while continuing his own research.