Dr K. Jane Grande-Allen’s was a postdoctoral fellow at the Cleveland Clinic which is where I was lucky enough to meet her! Dr. Grande-Allen is currently the Isabel C. Cameron Professor for the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University. via, Rice.edu
Jane Grande-Allen’s research applies engineering analysis to understand and fight heart valve disease. This involves mechanical testing, biochemical measurements, and microstructural analysis of critical components found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) that makes up cardiac tissue. Her studies into the basic and applied physiology of heart valve tissue have shown that the ECM – collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans – forms an intricate network of connective tissue that is influenced by valvular function, growth, and abnormalities.
Her investigations of the chemical and mechanical conditions in both diseased and healthy valves are designed to reveal why structural defects occur and how to develop alternatives to conventional open-heart surgery to repair/replace diseased heart valves. These alternatives include drug therapies and engineered heart valves for patients of different age groups.
Grande-Allen’s research has been supported by the American Heart Association; March of Dimes; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; the National Science Foundation; Pfizer; and the Whitaker Foundation.
In recognition of her work in research, she has received the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Development Award (2005), Hamill Innovation (2005, 2008, 2010) and Medical Innovation (2007, 2011) awards from Rice’s Institute for Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB), the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology (2005), the A.J. Durelli Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. (2011), the Editorial Excellence Award by the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (2011), and the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association (2012).