Rocky S. Tuan


F: 412-624-5544


Dr. Rocky S. Tuan, Distinguished Professor, is the Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering (CCME), located in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Tuan is also the Executive Vice Chairman for Orthopaedic Research, the Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Chair Professor in Sports Medicine, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Director for the Center for Military Medicine Research, and Associate Director for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Additionally, he holds a secondary appointment as a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh.

"My longstanding research activities in musculoskeletal biology and tissue regeneration cover basic science and engineering, as well as translational and clinical applications.  In basic research, my interests range from skeletal patterning and embryonic cartilage development, to mechanistic aspects of cell signaling and matrix biology, to the biology of adult stem cells and reprogrammed stem cells.  My translational and engineering investigations include nanomaterials, 3-D printing, bioscaffold design, bioreactor technology, the biology of cell-material interactions, and tissue engineering and regeneration.  My clinical research topics of interest include periprosthetic osteolysis, molecular diagnosis of orthopaedic infection, development of biodegradable drug delivery systems, articular cartilage repair, and developmental defects of the skeletal system.  I have a long, established history in the biology of adult stem cells, particularly sourcing and mechanistic analysis of the signaling mechanisms regulating their proliferation and differentiation.  In addition, I have extensive experience in applying adult stem cells for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.  We have also studied the trophic influence of adult stem cells on the immune and vasculoendothelial systems as well as tissue functions."

Resources and Facilities:
CCME research is carried out in newly established laboratories located on second floor of the BSP-2 Building.  The CCME represents the University of Pittsburgh’s continued commitment to interdisciplinary research activities that link biomedical sciences and engineering disciplines.  Dr. Tuan was recruited in 2009 to direct this new Center, which includes faculty members from various departments in the School of Medicine, Dental School as well as School of Engineering.  Dr. Tuan’s lab in the CCME is located one floor away from the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and adjacent to the Department of Bioengineering.  Dr. Tuan’s lab is also located two floors away from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the new BSP-2 Building.  Thus, expertise in cell and molecular biology, bioengineering and regenerative medicine is amply represented in the immediate environment of the performance site.

Dr. Tuan's laboratory is a brand new facility that currently occupies approximately 4,000 sq ft of contiguous laboratory space, and consists of an open-laboratory set up that can accommodate over 20 researchers for wet lab and engineering activities.  Dedicated spaces and instrumentations are available for cell and tissue culture, biomaterials fabrication, biomechanics, microscopy and imaging, and molecular analyses.  There is ready access to core facilities, such as fluorescence-activated cell sorting equipment, confocal laser scanning microscope, micro-CT, X-ray imager, and genomics and proteomics facility.


  • PhD