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MTF Biologics Awards 2018 Extramural Research Grants ​


World’s largest tissue bank provides $1.6 million in grant funding to advance allograft science, opens applications for 2019 grant program

Edison, NJ (December 18, 2018) — MTF Biologics, the world’s largest tissue bank, today announced that 10 researchers from around the nation have received more than $1.6 million in funding through its 2018 Research Grant Program.

“MTF Biologics’ mission has always included support for promising research,” said Joe Yaccarino, President and CEO of MTF Biologics. “Our Grant Program fuels important advances in tissue transplantation, making it an extension of our commitment to tissue donor families and recipients. We congratulate all of the applicants who were awarded grants this year, and look forward to seeing how the findings of these scientists and clinicians enhance patient care and outcomes.”

Since 1987, MTF Biologics has provided more than $50 million in grants to advance allograft transplantation science and biological reconstruction.  More than 200 principal investigators at more than 80 different institutions have received funding. Top funded institutions include University of California, Los Angeles, University of Rochester, Case Western Reserve University, University of Virginia, and Columbia University.

“In 2018, MTF Biologics expanded our Grant Program from focusing on scientific and translational research to offering our first-ever Clinical Science Grant to address the growing need for data to investigate clinical outcomes and health economics to support allograft use in clinical practice,” said Marc Long, Ph.D., VP, Research & Development of MTF Biologics. “We look forward to continuing to expand this program in the years to come and funding additional growing areas of research that can help us save and heal more lives.”

The recipients selected for 2018 Research Grants are:

J.R. NEFF AWARD: Named in honor of the late orthopaedic surgeon and researcher, James R. Neff, M.D., this award goes to an individual whose work in the orthopaedics field embodies dedication, perseverance and intense curiosity.

  • Min Lee, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, “Enhanced Biological Activity of Demineralized Bone Matrix with Noggin Suppression in Polymer Matrices.”

CLINICAL SCIENCE GRANT:  This grant is awarded to researchers who wish to investigate clinical outcomes and/or health economics to support allograft use in clinical practice. 

  • Patrick Henry, Ph.D., Sunnybrook Research Institute, “Arthroscopic Partial Repair vs. Superior Capsular Reconstruction with Dermal Allograft for Massive Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears.”


    EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH GRANT – ESTABLISHED INVESTIGATOR: These grants are awarded to experienced researchers who wish to investigate new research areas.

  • Tong Ye, Ph.D., Clemson University, “Development of a Nonlinear Optic Micro-Arthroscope for Assessing Quality of Articular Cartilage Allografts.”
  • Zulma Gazit, Ph.D., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, “Knee Cartilage Resurfacing Utilizing Human Meniscal Allograft.”

EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH GRANT– JUNIOR INVESTIGATOR: These grants provide valuable funding to junior researchers at the beginning of their careers, allowing them to establish research projects to support future, larger grant applications.

  • Brett D. Owens, Ph.D., Rhode Island Hospital, “Extending Viability of Fresh Cartilage Grafts.”
  • Bret Ulery, Ph.D., University of Missouri, “Bioactive Polymer/Allograft Hydrogel for Osteomodulatory Spinal Fusion.”
  • Dean Wang, Ph.D., Hospital for Special Surgery, “Biomechanical, Histological and Ultrastructural Analysis of Commercially Available Osteochondral Allografts.”

OREF AWARD: Administered by the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), this research grant aids an investigator in funding an orthopaedic research project. 

  • Amy L. McNulty, Ph.D., Duke University, “Improving Meniscus Repair Using a Meniscus-Derived Matrix Allograft.”

HERNDON AWARDS: Named for MTF’s first President, Charles H. Herndon, M.D., and administered through OREF, these grants support orthopaedic resident research projects. 

  • Michael Chau, M.D., Ph.D., University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, “Microenvironmental Influences on Articular Chondrocyte Differentiation.”
  • Derek Guo Ju, M.D., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, “Identifying and Mitigating the Effects of Diabetes on Disc Degeneration.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 MTF Biologics Extramural Grant Program.  The application deadline is March 1, 2019.  Interested applicants can view the Request for Proposals, the MTF Biologics Grant Policies and find out how to apply for the grant on the MTF Biologics website at

MTF Biologics also funds grants provided through the Plastic Surgery Foundation and supports professional education for surgeons and nurses, along with other charitable outreach efforts.

For information on how to apply for a research grant, contact Jeffrey Cartmell, Ph.D., Associate Director, Intellectual Property & Grants at 732-661-2151 or  or .

About MTF Biologics

MTF Biologics, also known as the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, is a nonprofit organization based in Edison, N.J. It is a consortium comprised of leading organ procurement organizations, tissue recovery organizations and academic medical institutions, and governed by a board of surgeons who are leading experts in tissue transplantation. As the world’s largest tissue bank, MTF Biologics saves and heals lives by honoring donated gifts, serving patients and advancing science. Since its inception in 1987, the organization has received tissue from more than 130,000 donors and distributed more than 8.4 million grafts for transplantation. Through its IIAM subsidiary, it has placed more than 58,000 non-transplantable organs for research. Through its Statline subsidiary, it has managed more than 11.3 million donor referrals. For more information, visit