About the Session

Trauma accounts for 41 million ER visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions per year, but has only recently emerged as a unique medical discipline. Established by survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards address this deficit by inspiring innovative research in bone regeneration, limb transplant, advanced stem cell technology, orthopedic and plastic surgery, bioengineering, and other areas of trauma at BWH.


This live pitch session features presentations by three Stepping Strong Innovator Awards finalists. Following a Q&A from a panel of research leaders, clinical experts, and Stepping Strong supporters, the winner of the $100,000 award will be announced. The overarching mission of the Stepping Strong Fund is to unite patients, families, clinicians, researchers, and advocates with a common goal: to transform the study and treatment of traumatic, athletic, military, and disease-related limb injuries so future patients can step strong once again.


Matthew Carty, MD, will be moderating this session. He is a staff surgeon in the BWH Division of Plastic Surgery, an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and a visiting scientist in the Biomechatronics Group in the MIT Media Lab. Carty was the inaugural winner of the 2014 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards.

3PM – 4PM

Bornstein Amphitheater

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Omid Farokhzad, MD

Omid Farokhzad, MD, is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a physician-scientist in the Department of Anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Farokhzad directs the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at BWH. He is a faculty member of the Brigham Research Institute Cancer Research Center. He is additionally a member of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Programs in prostate cancer and cancer cell biology.

Bohdan Pomahac, MD

Bohdan Pomahac, MD, trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in general surgery, and then went on to a fellowship in the Harvard Plastic Surgery Program. In 2004, Pomahac joined the staff at BWH as a plastic surgeon and associate director of the Burn Center. Pomahac established the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at BWH, one of the world’s leading centers in face and vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation (VCA). As a pioneer in the field of VCA transplantation, Pomahac led the teams that performed the second partial face transplant and the first three full face transplant procedures in the U.S. In 2011, the team performed the first successful bilateral upper extremity transplantation in the Northeast. Under Pomahac’s leadership, the BWH VCA transplant team has performed a number of additional face and hand transplants, and expanded research protocols to include lower extremity and abdominal wall transplantation. As principal investigator of the face, multiple extremity, and abdominal wall transplantation studies, Pomahac’s research team is currently working on implementation of immunosuppression minimization strategies in clinical trials, development of technology to extend the viability of tissues, and other research topics related to VCA transplantation and plastic surgery.

Su-Ryon Shin, PhD

Su-Ryon Shin, PhD, received a doctoral degree from Hanyang University, South Korea. In 2010, she joined the staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Medicine. Shin was promoted to instructor at HMS in 2014. She is affiliated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Shin’s interdisciplinary approach has earned her a growing international reputation for her work in nanomaterials science, regenerative medicine, and biomedical engineering. Her research focuses on developing micro-scale and nanoscale technologies to control and monitor cellular behavior, with particular emphasis in developing micro-scale biomaterials and engineering systems for biomedical applications. Her recent work focuses on multifunctional cardiac scaffolds and 3D biohybrid actuators using biocompatible hydrogel for both therapeutic purposes and in vitro studies. Her team is currently developing a bioprinting technology to control cellular behavior and regulate cell alignment within engineered systems.