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Institute for Biomedical Sciences

A non-profit public benefit organization supporting research in regenerative medicine to produce tissues and organs for implantation in humans.

Our Mission

We will plan and conduct tissue regeneration research using the latest scientific methods to discover and develop the salient factors that mandate targeted and efficient cells growth. Our results and reports can be established as standards for the regenerative medicine industry. We will support young scientists and students who share our goals through awards, scholarships, fellowships and internships. We will apply for government grants and request funding from industry and the general public to support our goals.

Our History

The Microvascular Research Institute was founded in 1979 by faculty members from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Southern California. It was established to investigate the cause, progression, cure and prevention of diseases by studying the smallest blood vessels – capillaries, which are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to all tissues and organs. Later, in collaboration with orthopedic surgeons at Scripps Health our work expanded into the musculoskeletal area resulting in a name change to the Institute for Biomedical Sciences in 1994. We enhanced the performance of artificial hip and knee joint implants using state-of-the art biomechanics and computational approaches. We believe the next scientific breakthrough is the successful bioengineering of cartilage and related tissues for biologic joint replacement. A key to this success is uncovering the optimum external conditions for cells to form cartilage and supporting target tissues. We are now in the process of performing a series of systematic experiments to quantify the effects of mechanical, chemical and electromagnetic forces on cells. With our experience in capillary blood flow we plan to sustain the growing cells in a bioreactor with a tissue engineered capillary network.

Our Team

Our leadership team consists of a senior bioengineer, a clinician and an academician with multidisciplinary expertise in blood circulation, orthopedics, tissue engineering and biomedical instrumentation. We are dedicated to the promotion of research in tissue regeneration with a current focus on the development of biological materials for the repair of damaged and diseased cartilage.


Peter C.Y. Chen, Ph.D. has been the president of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences since 2015. He is an Emeriti Mentor at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Chen received his B.A. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego and continued with receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1978 under Prof. Y.C. Fung, a founding member of the UCSD Bioengineering Department. After his post-doctoral training at the University of Southern California Physiology Laboratory from Dr. S. Sobin, Dr. Chen served as Senior Research Associate and the Co-director of the Greater Los Angeles American Heart Association Cardiovascular Research Laboratory. He returned to UCSD in 1993 as Research Bioengineer/Project Scientist and in 2000 assumed a teaching roll as Lecturer. Prof. Chen's research interests include hemodynamics and the functional aspects of the microcirculation, in vivo video-microscopy, microvascular changes in diabetes, hypertension and sickle cell disease in animal and human models, long term effects of implantable biosensors, blood substitutes, effects of mechanical stresses on cells and tissues, cartilage injury evaluation, bioreactor and cartilage tissue engineering, electrospinning and 3D printing, hip and knee joint replacements, and biomedical instrumentation. Prof. Chen was instrumental in the design and construction of a pneumatic 8 station hip joint wear tester, a two dimensional soft tissue testing machine, an image processing system for non-invasive measurement of human capillary blood flow, an artificial intelligence based computer diagnostic system for the non-invasive vascular laboratory, an alternating current electrophoretic chamber for single cell studies, and other unique biomedical devices. His current focus is on the development of a bioreactor incorporating the simultaneous application of mechanical, chemical and electrical stimulations on growing cells. Prof. Chen is credited for helping to implement the first freshman laboratory course in the UCSD Bioengineering Department in 2015, also a first in the nation. Prof. Chen continues to publish peer reviewed manuscripts, is the editor of two bioengineering books and has received the Malpighi Gold Award for excellence in the production of a motion picture on microcirculation. He was voted Teacher of the Year by UCSD bioengineering students and received the UCSD Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award. Prof. Chen has known and worked with Prof. Anthony Cheung since 1973, and with Dr. Colwell since 1993.


Clifford W. Colwell Jr., MD, is medical director of the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California and holds the Donald and Darlene Shiley Chair in Orthopaedic Research. Dr. Colwell is clinical professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and adjunct clinical professor, Department of Basic Science and Clinical Research at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). He was chief of the Orthopaedic Division at Scripps Clinic, Director of the Lower Extremity Reconstruction Fellowship Program, and for 25 years was team physician for the San Diego Padres. Dr. Colwell received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and an internship and one year of general surgery residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He did his orthopaedic residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and completed a trauma fellowship at Los Angeles County Hospital. He served in the military as an orthopaedic surgeon at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas from 1968–1970, during the Vietnam conflict. Dr. Colwell received The Knee Society Award and the Nicolas Andry Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons for work on venous thromboembolic disease prophylaxis in hip and knee arthroplasty. He received the HAP Paul Award for “Tibial Forces Measured in Vivo after Total Knee Arthroplasty” from the International Society of Technology in Arthroplasty (ISTA); the Kappa Delta Award for “Cartilage Injury, Chondrocyte Apoptosis and Matrix Degradation: In Vitro, In Vivo and Clinical Consequences” from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The Knee Society awarded him the Chitranjan Ranawat Award for “In Vivo Knee Forces after Total Knee Arthroplasty” and the Mark Coventry Award for “In Vivo Knee Forces during Recreation and Exercise after Knee Arthroplasty.” He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty (ISTA) in 2009. In 2011 he earned his second Nicolas Andry award for “Lab-In-A-Knee: Simultaneous Measurement of In Vivo Forces and Kinematics” from the ABJS. In 2017, he received the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and numerous other awards. Dr. Colwell has authored nearly 300 peer-reviewed papers, written 19 book chapters, and has been a guest speaker at multiple institutional and educational symposia worldwide. He lives in La Jolla, California with his wife Carolyn of fifty-three years and has three children and six grandchildren.


Anthony Tze-Wai Cheung, Ph.D., was born in Hong Kong and received his high school education from Wah Yan College/HK Jesuit High School. He matriculated at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine and attended medical school in the Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery (MB,BS) program. In 1967, he immigrated to the United States, and continued his medical training as well as extending his science background at the University of California, Los Angeles/UCLA (MA: endocrinology; PhD: physiology and cell biology). Dr. Cheung received his first fellowship award in UCLA, and was mentored by the late Professor Michael ”Spike” Miller in clinical studies coupled with special emphasis on “innate immunity” as a pediatric host defense mechanism against infectious diseases. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Cheung was offered a post-doctoral appointment at California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA as a CalTech Fellow in engineering science and applied mechanics, and later a second fellowship as a Senior Fellow in bioengineering and biomechanics (under the mentorship of Professor Theodore “Ted” Wu and the late Professor Harold Wayland). In 1978, Dr. Cheung started his academic career at UCLA School of Medicine as assistant professor of pediatrics (infectious disease). Because of his love for teaching, Dr. Cheung concurrently served as a teaching faculty (physiology, cell biology and embryology) at Loyola University, Los Angeles, CA. Professor Cheung relocated to the University of California, Davis (UCD) School of Medicine as associate professor and director of pediatrics in 1982. In his first year at UCD, he founded the fetal and neonatal medicine unit (in a NIH-funded research center) which he directed during his tenure in the department. Later he laterally moved to the department of pathology and laboratory medicine as professor of pathology and director of leukocyte biology laboratory in 1988/89.  Professor Cheung spent 23 years in the department and eventually retired in 2011 while he was serving as professor and vice chair of the department, founding director of the North Central California (Region 8) breast cancer registry, co-director of the Sacramento breast cancer early detection program, and founding director of biomedical engineering division. He was appointed professor emeritus in the University of California system upon his retirement. A major focus of Professor Cheung’s expertise lies in real-time in vivo and non-invasive video-microscopy on the microcirculation and subsequent objective computer-assisted image analysis for vasculopathy characteristics in vascular diseases. To achieve these goals, Professor Cheung designed and co-developed (with Dr. Peter Chen, UCSD, La Jolla, CA) different versions of the real-time computer-assisted intravital microscope (CAIM) to study vasculopathy in human diseases and severe blood loss patients, using the conjunctival microvascular network and the finger nailfold capillary bed as research platforms. As a follow-up on his goals, Professor Cheung has successfully applied this non-invasive and quantitative technology to study conjunctival microcirculation abnormalities (vasculopathy) in diabetes (T1DM and T2DM), hypertension, sickle cell disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hemorrhagic shock, and other vascular disorders in human patients. These studies were based on his proven theory that vasculopathy in the peripheral vessels (conjunctival as well as nailfold) could reveal vascular abnormalities in the intracranial or systemic vessels (e.g., stroke predictions in sickle cell disease and vasculopathy reversal after a successful simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant). In addition, Professor Cheung has adapted his intravital technology to study efficacy of artificial blood and high-viscosity colloidal solution resuscitation as a treatment modality for hemorrhagic shock and rural (or battlefield) blood loss injuries. Professor Cheung has received numerous honors and awards, including the UCD School of Medicine 1990 Joan Oettinger Memorial Award for excellence in cancer research, the UCD School of Medicine 2004 Faculty Research Award for life-time outstanding research achievement, the UCD 1998 Chancellor James H. Meyer university-wide Distinguished Career Achievement Award for excellence in teaching, research, and university and community service, and the 2000 and 2004 University of California system-wide Professional Development Award. Professor Cheung held visiting professorship in many outside universities, including Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA), Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon NMR Center (Pittsburgh, USA), Stanford University School of Medicine (Palo Alto, USA), Oakland Children’s Hospital Research Institute (Oakland, USA), Universidad del Mayab (Merida, Mexico), and Cairo University (Cairo, Egypt).  In his long academic and research career of 35-plus years in UCLA and UCD, Professor Cheung had received interdisciplinary and translational research funding in excess of US$17M from extramural funding sources, including NIH, DOD, CA Department of Health Services, and various foundations and professional societies (e.g., AHA, CFRF, Pacific Bell, etc) in the form of grants, contracts, awards, discretion gifts, and donations. His research efforts had resulted in the publication of over 200 papers and numerous lectures and presentations.  In addition to his academic accolades, Professor Cheung was honored by the State of California Senate and Legislature Assembly in three separate resolutions for his life-time achievement in cancer studies, diabetes research, infectious disease/host defense studies, clinical and efficacy trials, simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation, breast cancer informatics and telepathology (Let-the-fingers-do-the-walking CalREN US$1M project), and the establishment of the North Central California Breast Cancer Registry which he directed since its inception.  In the resolutions, Professor Cheung was cited for his contribution to the residents of the State of California in addition to his scientific achievements, and for the breast cancer detection and service for uninsured underprivileged women, in providing free physical examinations and their first mammograms as well as follow-up treatments for two years if cancer was confirmed – it was a life-saving project for all uninsured women who could not otherwise financially afford these procedures. This early detection and treatment program for the indigent population in North California was established through grant support from the California Department of Health Services, generous support (two times) from the Blue Cross Foundation, local cancer and/or charity foundations, local fund-raising efforts, and personal donations from Professor Cheung to cover funding deficits.  After his retirement, Professor Cheung was appointed to sit on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences to promote research activities for high school seniors and university freshmen, and to serve as a pro bono mentor for undergraduate students in local universities.

Contact Us

9276 Scranton Road, ste. 200

San Diego, CA 92121


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