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The Innovators podcast, a product of Harris Search Associates, features interesting conversations with global thought leaders in the areas of higher education and research, engineering, technology, and the health sciences and provides our listeners an opportunity to benefit from lessons learned from the national leaders changing the landscape of innovation and discovery. Visit the Harris Search Associates website here.

Nov 1, 2022

Over the past year, several INNOVATORS were devoted to learning more about the state of pediatric research. In this podcast, we learn about a breakthrough in the development of tissue from silk for use in the treatment of children born with spinal bifida. 

Dr. Carlos Estrada holds appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and was instrumental in the development and use of a new type of tissue. He earned his undergraduate degree from College of the Holy Cross and the MD from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residencies at Rush University Medical Center, then accepted a fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital from which he accepted an appointment to the faculty there. He earned an MBA from MIT. He focuses his research on tissue engineering and neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

In today’s podcast, he responds to the following questions:

  1. Describe the work you and your colleagues have been engaged in, particularly the rationale for pursuing it as well as its significance for the treatment of children? 
  2. Since launching INNOVATORS nearly 5 years ago, we’ve encountered several instances in a variety of fields including veterinary medicine and prosthetics, to mention only two, where the search for material that might be a substitute for surface skin was the “holy grail”. Your work seems to open up a much broader spectrum of applications. What are some of those and are the applications direct and straightforward or do they entail more research? 
  3. The announcement of your breakthrough was attended by an emphasis on the importance of collaboration that transcended areas of specialization and perhaps even entire fields. Who/what were those other partners and how did the collaboration come about and how was it sustained? Specifically, what role did leadership, on the part of an individual or a group of decision makers, play in facilitating collaboration? 
  4. The kind of research you and colleagues have been involved with requires resources. What kinds and which sources of resources were instrumental in advancing your research?
  5. Finally, even as you revel in what your research has accomplished, do you look out beyond the more immediate uses of your findings to applications that have become a bit more feasible precisely because of what the research makes possible now? What are some of those?
INNOVATORS is a podcast production of Harris Search Associates. 

*The views and opinions shared by the guests on INNOVATORS do not necessarily reflect the views of the interviewee's institution or organization.*