Northern Arizona University associate professor of practice Rob Kellar was recently selected as a finalist in the Phoenix Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes awards program in the Innovation category. The annual program, now in its 18th year, honors health care workers, including doctors, nurses and volunteers.
As a faculty researcher in NAU’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation, Kellar specializes in regenerative medicine—engineering the replacement or regeneration of human cells, tissues and organs. His research focuses on tissue regeneration, stem cell biology and wound healing. In his Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM) laboratory at NAU, Kellar and his team apply tissue engineering and regenerative medicine solutions to address translational questions and clinical needs.
“Currently, we are working on several active research projects in biomaterial development, biocompatibility assessment, stem cell biology and, most notably, wound healing,” Kellar said.
Kellar’s wound healing program includes wounds that may be contaminated with environmental toxins, such as arsenic or uranium, as well as wounds that may be infected, such as diabetic wounds or battlefield wounds.
Kellar has more than 17 years of experience in the development and regulatory approval of medical devices, cell-based products and tissue engineered technology. He has led cross-functional teams in the industry, including small biotech start-ups and large medical device companies. As co-director of NAU’s Bioengineering Ph.D. program, Kellar uses his experiences and network within the industry along with his background in academia to provide students with broad, diverse exposure to the field of bioengineering.
“Watching ideas become products or technologies that change lives for the better,” Kellar said when asked by the Phoenix Business Journal to describe the most rewarding part about working in health care.
Kellar also is the chief science officer of Arizona-based Axolotl Biologix, where he leads a group of scientists and researchers who use regenerative medicine technologies to commercialize products that treat damaged tissues and stimulate natural repair and regeneration in patients.
Kerry Bennett | Office of the Vice President for Research
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