About Our Directors

The Tissue Engineering and Sarcoma Biology Laboratory is led by principal investigator Michael J. Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D., and assistant director Avudaiappan (Avudai) Maran, Ph.D. They also serve as directors of the Biomaterials and Histomorphometry Core at Mayo Clinic.

About Dr. Yaszemski

Photograph of Michael J. Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D.

Michael J. Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Yaszemski has enjoyed distinguished careers in both medicine and the military.

Dr. Yaszemski served as president of the Mayo Clinic medical staff from 2013 to 2014. He previously served for 10 years as chair of the Spine Surgery Division of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He organized and then served as the first chair of the musculoskeletal tissue engineering study section at the NIH and served as a member of the NIH National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering from 2010 to 2014.

Dr. Yaszemski also served as chair of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is currently a member of the FDA Science Board. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. He has more than 50 issued patents and several patents pending. Dr. Yaszemski is an emeritus member of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees.

In addition to his notable career as a physician-scientist, Dr. Yaszemski has a lengthy military career.

Dr. Yaszemski served as a U.S. Air Force brigadier general in the office of the Air Force Surgeon General and as the reserve military advisor to the president of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, before retiring in 2013.

He received bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in 1977 and 1978. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on Aug. 18, 1979, in the Air Force Reserve through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. He entered active duty as a captain after graduating from medical school at Georgetown University in 1983.

Dr. Yaszemski completed residency training in orthopedic surgery while on active duty at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1989. He completed fellowship training in spine surgery at Harvard Medical School in 1991 while on active duty as an Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) student. He completed a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an AFIT student in 1995. He received board certification in orthopedic surgery in 1993 and accomplished recertification in 2003 and 2014.

Dr. Yaszemski served as chief of flight medicine at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas. He also served as chief of spine surgery, director of orthopedic research and director of hyperbaric medicine at Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center from 1991 to 1996. He served as deputy commander of the 332nd Medical Group at the Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq, from July to September 2006.

Dr. Yaszemski was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in February 2008.

"I feel that it is important for us to contribute our service to our country," he said, "and in the case of one among our Mayo staff traveling to Iraq, that service is also being provided by our partners at Mayo, who are doing the same amount of work with one less person."

Meet the Researcher, October 8, 2015: Michael Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D.

2013 AAOS Tipton Leadership Award Winner: Michael Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D.

About Dr. Maran

Dr. Maran is an established investigator in the field of bone biology and musculoskeletal oncology with many years of experience in the molecular biology of cancer and cytokines.

In addition to his role in the lab and the core facility, Dr. Maran is an associate professor of both biomedical engineering and orthopedics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Maran received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Madurai Kamaraj University in India and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in tumor virology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Dr. Maran worked as a junior faculty at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, before joining Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Maran's work is supported by federal and foundation grants. His research focuses on understanding biological mechanisms and controlled delivery of therapeutic drugs and growth factors. His current cellular and molecular studies focus on various regulatory mechanisms (autophagy, apoptosis and transcription) that control osteosarcoma tumor progression and metastasis, with a goal of improving osteosarcoma care and outcomes.