Professor, School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering at the University of Oklahoma
Vassilios Sikavitsas, Ph.D., received a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, in 1991. He was admitted to the Graduate Program of the Chemical Engineering Department of the University at Buffalo in 1993 and received his MS in 1995 and his Ph.D. in 2000. His doctorate work was supervised by Dr T.J. Mountziaris and Dr J.M. Nitsche. Vassilios continued doing research at the Bioengineering Department at Rice University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate until 2002 when he joined the School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering at the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor. Currently he holds the rank of Professor in the same School.
Vassilios has become internationally recognized for his research in the area of orthopedic tissue engineering utilizing adult stem cells and biomimetic biomaterials. Vassilios’ significant contributions to the field of Orthopedic Tissue Engineering include multiple publications on the utilization of biomechanical forces in bioreactors to manipulate the fate of adult stem cells. He has developed bioreactor systems for the in vitro culture of three dimensional cell/scaffold constructs towards the engineering of specific tissues, mainly bone and tendons. His investigations on the experimental and theoretical exploration of oxygen and nutrient transport limitations in large three dimensional cell/scaffold constructs, together with his new recent interest relating to the understanding of cancer metastasis and the creation of in vitro three dimensional cancer cell constructs for drug screening, occupy most of his time. Vassilios is very passionate about teaching and his favorite classes include Chemical Engineering Separations, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, and Tissue Engineering. He has received recognition many times from his students for his teaching.
Vassilios started doing research at the University at Buffalo in the area of Gas Separations, a very traditional field of Chemical Engineering. During the first couple of years at Buffalo he had the opportunity to be exposed to the field of Bioengineering that was at the initial phase of its growth in the early nineties. His excitement for the field caused a major shift in his research plans and he moved to do research in the area of Biosensors, especially on the influence of mass transport on the performance of commercial immunosensors based on antigen-antibody interactions, a subject that became his passion during the second half of the nineties at Buffalo. He witnessed the explosive growth of Bioengineering at the Chemical Engineering Department with the arrival of many young faculty members that today are very successful senior faculty.
“The exciting collaborative environment between faculty and students formed the foundation of my success. I still remember the intense discussions between students from different bio groups on the ninth floor of Sarkeys (in the late nineties it was the heart of Bioengineering research at UB) extending way beyond midnight. Life at CBE at UB was full of amazing classes from outstanding teachers and stimulating research interactions with top notch scientists (faculty and students). It was during this time that I made the transition from student to researcher, and I’ll always keep UB as a special place in my memories.”