Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is committed to developing and disseminating novel therapies for the repair and replacement of diseased tissues and organs.  One way to achieve this goal is to foster the careers of young investigators to encourage them to find solutions to problems in regenerative medicine. As part of this effort, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding achievements by members of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) who are in the early stages of a career in regenerative medicine. 

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award will be presented during the TERMIS AM meeting (April 11-14, 2023) to two (2) individuals in the early stages of their research careers (graduate student or post-doctoral fellow). Each awardee will be invited to present their conference abstract during the TERMIS-AM meeting and will receive an award certificate and a monetary award of $2,500 (U.S.).

Congratulation Award Recipients!

Lexi Rindone
Johns Hopkins University

Lexi is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in Professor Jennifer Elisseeff’s lab at Johns Hopkins University. She received her BS in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where she worked in Professor Warren Grayson’s lab. Her PhD research focused on the development of a quantitative 3D light-sheet imaging platform to study the interactions of blood vessels and stem cells during skull bone growth, healing, and remodeling. As a postdoctoral fellow, she is now focused on identifying the roles of different senescent cell phenotypes in the foreign body response to biomaterials, and evaluating how these phenotypes change across lifespan in both sexes. Lexi has co-authored twelve manuscripts and received several awards for her work, including the Siebel Scholarship, ARCS Metropolitan Washington Chapter Endowment Scholarship, NIH F31 Kirschstein-NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship, and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Outside of the lab, Lexi is the Chair of the Students and Young Investigators Section (SYIS) of TERMIS Americas, and during her free time, she enjoys running, playing tennis, exploring local farmers’ markets, and spending time with her cat.

 She will present “Quantitative 3D Imaging of the Cranial Microvascular Environment at Single-Cell Resolution.

Jacob Hodge
University of Kansas Medical Center

I was born and raised just outside of Kansas City, KS where I went on to attend Kansas State University (KSU) to obtain a B.S. in Biology, a B.S. in Biochemistry, and a M.S. in Biochemistry. After graduating from KSU, my research interests shifted towards tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. I spent the next three years working with a vascular surgeon, Dr. Clay Quint, at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) developing a novel tissue engineered vascular graft currently under preclinical evaluation. During my tenure with Dr. Quint I was accepted into the MD/PhD program at KUMC. As my medical training progressed, I became interested in the complexity of soft tissue injuries. Thus, upon transitioning into my doctoral training phase I joined Dr. A.J. Mellott and Dr. Jenny Robinson’s labs where the topic of my doctoral research focused on investigating the dynamic roles of native tissue regeneration and wound healing stimuli. Through my research, I contributed to the generation of a novel modular tissue-mimetic system, called the Bio-Blocks™, that allows recapitulation of a diverse array of native regenerative stimuli. I recently successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in March 2023 and am now preparing to transition back into phase 2 of my medical training. My clinical interest involves the pursuit of becoming a trained surgeon-scientist, specializing in soft tissue and wound care. Ultimately, I plan to run a laboratory focused on clinical and translational research, with the intent of investigating regenerative therapies to treat wounds and other soft tissue ailments.

Application Requirements:

  • Attached application form
  • Applicant’s current CV
  • A copy of the applicant’s TERMIS-AM 2023 abstract
  • A one-page Personal Statement describing the applicant’s career goals
  • Two letters of recommendation

Eligibility criteria:

  • Currently enrolled as a student in an advanced degree program (Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent) OR currently a post-doctoral fellow
  • Member of TERMIS (student or regular membership)
  • Actively involved in any area of regenerative medicine research
  • Have or will have submitted an abstract for TERMIS-AM 2023
  • Be in attendance at TERMIS-AM in Boston, MA
  • No affiliation with Wake Forest University or Wake Forest University Health Sciences