Dr. Darryl A. Dickerson is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Florida International University. Dr. Dickerson’s research agenda contains two interconnected strands: 1) systematic investigations to discovering the “critical complexity” of complex tissues through multiple modes of characterization and continuum mixture theory modeling; and 2) utilization of modeling results as key inputs into the design of bio-inspired materials for clinical applications. Dickerson received a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University and completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. As a doctoral student, Dickerson was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow with research focused on the development of naturally derived biomaterials specifically for the regeneration of tissue interfaces. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Dickerson gained significant management and leadership experience as a member of the Board of Directors (2004 – 2009) of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). His work with NSBE culminated in his service as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 2007 – 2008. During his tenure, he oversaw a full-time staff of 30 at the World Headquarters in Alexandria, VA; managed a budget of $11 million; implemented a new programmatically based strategic direction; and forged new partnerships with corporations including Battelle and Microsoft. Dr. Dickerson expanded the strategic focus of NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative by founding the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK), which has served more than 23,000 students since its inception.
After completing his PhD, Dr. Dickerson founded Advanced Regenerative Technologies to translate the benchtop work performed during his graduate studies to clinical practice. In this company, he has designed implants based on natural biomaterials for tendon and cartilage regeneration, performed in vitro experiments to optimize material design, completed regulatory assessments, and designed and managed small and large animal pre-clinical trials in compliance with GLP standards to assess material safety and performance. To date this work has resulted in nearly $1M in grant funding, three patents, and two products near human clinical testing. His current research focuses on creating models pinpointing the relationship between critical structural components of complex tissues and their function as a basis for tissue regeneration.
Mechanical characterization of biological interfaces, design of bioinspired materials, modeling of biological interfaces, natural biopolymer-metal complexation, model-informed in vivo bioreactor biomaterial design, biophysical control of induced pluripotent cells