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Scholar Alumni combines science and industry to create start-up biotech company

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2019

Denver Faulk, Ph.D. a successful Pitt Bioengineer, was an ARCS Scholar 7 years ago. On completing his Ph.D., he chose a career path that combines academic affiliation and industry innnovation.  Dr. Faulk stayed in Pittsburgh by becoming the Principal Biomedical Engineer at ALung Technologies, creating life-saving devices. Click here for more on his work.

Denver Faulk's career path was to become an academic research scientist, but he changed directions when he decided to stay in Pittsburgh, “My wife and I love Pittsburgh and it’s a great place for our three kids to grow up.  We didn’t want to leave after I completed my Ph.D. but fewer great academic research institutions like Pitt and CMU hire new scientist-researchers.”  

Given the dramatically reduced government funding in science, technology, medicine, and engineering, more and more scholars will benefit from increased partnership between universities-industries-donors.  Denver continues to have an affiliation with Pitt’s bioengineering department, gives occasional lectures there and at CMU, and was formerly conducting  FDA clinical trials on life-saving devices at ALung Technologies.  ALung is a spin-off of research at Pitt and a good example of how highly ranked academic research centers promote entrepreneurial activities for researchers like Denver.  

Denver made a successful transition from academia to industry. He and his biotech partner were recently awarded a highly competitive grant from the Department of Defense to create the start-up biotech company in Pittsburgh, ECMedical, where they will produce the first engineered pancreas for addressing the loss of pancreatic functioning due to military injuries (and the lifelong dependence on medications to manage diabetes). His success is a model for our scholars.

ARCS Pittsburgh is reaching out to new industries in Pittsburgh both for future funding of our scholars as well as to nourish University-Industry-Donor partnerships.  We have partnered with Pittsburgh Tech Council (see their article on ARCS Pittsburgh by clicking here and scrolling down to the last article) hoping to make relevant programs available to our scholars or members and to cultivate corporate relationships. Additionally, we are pursuing exciting opportunities with Pittsburgh CREATES, an industry focused research, training, and innovation center for advanced surgical technologies at Pitt. We ask everyone in our ARCS Pittsburgh community to contact our Fund Development Co-Chairs, Pamela Meadowcroft ( or Kathy Testoni, (,  if you have personal/professional connections to help us expand our industry-innovators partnerships.

Denver Faulk, Ph.D. former Pitt ARCS Scholar