Dr. Kagya Amoako joined the Department of Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2014. He joined the university because it provided the opportunity to teach and conduct research that address cardiovascular diseases through medical device development. It also provided the unique opportunity to help develop a master’s level biomedical engineering program at the Tagliatela College of Engineering.
Dr. Amoako’s background and research activities are in the areas of biomaterials in medicine. These materials are increasingly being used in ways that warrant their interaction with cells, bacteria, blood, tissue, and sometimes a combination of these complex living systems. The fates of such interactions are critical in biomimetic surfaces, regenerative medicine, immunomodulation, smart biomaterials for drug delivery applications and many more. For blood-contacting devices, their surface interactions with blood mostly lead to blood coagulation, inflammation, device failure, and patient complications. Their lifetime is limited to hours and days due to clot formation. Use on the order of months is however needed for many of these devices including vascular grafts, catheters, artificial lungs, extracorporeal circulation circuits, and dialysis membranes, which rely on the free flow of blood over their surfaces. The ideal approach to this problem is one that prevents clot formation only at the interacting surface and without systemic effects. His research interests have focused on bio-inspired polymer surface and bulk modification to incorporate anti-clotting functions of the endothelium on biomaterials.
He received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Delaware State University in 2004. He then earned his M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2006 and 2011 respectively. His doctoral work focused on “anti-platelet” nitric oxide therapies to inhibit blood coagulation on blood contacting medical devices.
Before Dr. Kagya Amoako joined the University of New Haven, he was supported by a NIH T32 postdoctoral fellowship and worked on “anti-fouling” surface coatings at the University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Amoako enjoys cooking, the outdoors, playing soccer, tennis, and biking.