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Charter & Board

External Advisory Committee Meeting Charter

Goal / Vision / Mission

TennIRM’s goal: To perform basic, clinical, and translational research in the areas of stem cell biology, 3D bio-printing, and tissue engineering. The goal is to translate scientific discoveries into new organ repair and replacement therapies for people suffering from organ damage.

Committee’s mission: To advance TennIRM’s vision of becoming the preeminent regenerative medicine body by providing a broad-array of expertise focused on science, education, industry partnership and regional economic development.


Committee Ground Rules 

  • Anyone can call ad hoc meetings as events unfold
  • Participate actively during and in between meetings as needed
  • Be mindful of time zone differences
  • Know TennIRM developments in real time
  • Prioritize attendance to three planned meetings per year

This charter is a living document and will evolve over time.


Scope / Role / Responsibility

  1. Advise on projects and communicate with investigators in between board meetings. Publish an annual Board Communique of the Board in the TennIRM Newsletter with reflections on past accomplishments and priorities for the next year.
  2. Set funding priorities for new project proposals by establishing a two-step review of applications consisting of a technical merit and a strategic board review.    
  3. Assist with fund raising initiatives and budget allocation not only to sustain operations but also to expand our initiatives.
  4. Drive economic growth in the state of Tennessee by developing a national and international outreach.
  5. Be local champions for TennIRM by communicating our vision and initiatives using both layman and scientific formats.
  6. Develop working relationships and collaboration with the leaders of MRC participating academic institutions and industrie

Advisory Committee Members


David E. Anderson, DVM, MS, DACVS
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville, TN
Coordinator for East Tennessee, TennIRM

Robert Blaudow, PhD
Department Head, Natural Sciences, Southwest Community College

Dr. Robert Blaudow established Southwest's Environmental Health and Safety Office and led the academic EH&S unit for seven years. Prior to accepting a teaching position he served as project developer and study director for LifeCyte, a former Memphis Bioworks Foundation incubator company. At the helm of Southwest’s science department, Robert created the Southwest STEM Open House and established the institution’s first science seminar series attracting globally and locally known speakers. He co-authored the department’s first internal OER microbiology lab manual and launched an initiative to develop OER manuals for all department disciplines. Robert completed the American Association of Community Colleges Future Leaders Institute. He served as a reviewer for Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology and publishers McGraw Hill and Pearson. He remains a Tennessee Promise mentor and sits on the Memphis Friends For Life board of directors. 


Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE
Executive Vice Chancellor, UTHSC

Peter Buckley, MD
Chancellor, UTHSC


James Carson, PhD, FACSM
Executive Director, TennIRM


Phil Cestaro
Associate VC, UTHSC Research and Business Development
Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2)
Jasbir Dhaliwal, PhD
Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Memphis
Executive Director, FedEx Institute of Technology
Steve Goodman, PhD
Professor, UTHSC Pediatrics 
Industry Liaison, TennIRM

Greg Harris
Senior Director of Development, UT Foundation


Y. James Kang, PhD
Professor, UTHSC Surgery
Chief Scientist, TennIRM

Gabor Tigyi, MD, PhD
Harriet Van Vleet Endowment Professor, Physiology
Associate VC, UTHSC Global Cooperation and Industry Relations




Shannon A. Brown
FedEx Senior Vice President (retired)
Committee Chair, TennIRM
Shannon Brown is formerly with FedEx Expess as the senior vice president of Eastern Division U.S. Operations and chief diversity officer. During his 30+ years wtih FedEx, he attained many honors, including multiple FedEx Five Star Awards and the CEO Five Star Award. 

Brown is actively involved with a variety of corporate, academic, and nonprofit institutions. He currently serves as a director of BancorpSouth, Inc. Additionally, he was appointed by former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the advisory board of Western Governors University. He serves on the central board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and the Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis. 

Brown has been named to Black Enterprise magazine’s lists of “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” and “Top Executives in Corporate Diversity,” as well as Savoy magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Executives in Corporate America.” He has a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science from National-Louis University in Chicago and a master’s degree in intermodal transportation from the University of Denver. He currently resides in Memphis, TN.


Ann Burgess
Biologics R&D
With over 30 years in dental and orthopedic research and development largely focused on regenerative musculoskeletal biomaterials, Ann is a recognized leader within the medical device community in product development, preclinical and clinical research, business development and executive leadership. Her career highlights include launching over 20 product families from concept to commercialization involving both hardware and biologics products, co-authoring ten peer-reviewed publications, and being a co-inventor on three U.S. patents for commercially available products. She  conducted the first U.S. clinical trial on an investigational complex growth factor product in periodontal repair. She also designed mathematical algorithms for analyzing biomaterials by x-ray diffraction and lead the largest post-market total ankle arthroplasty clinical study (nominated in 2020 for the prestigious Roger A. Mann award). In 2013, Ann was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC. She has been involved in Memphis-area committees including University of Memphis Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board and the Memphis Research Consortium. Ann is a biomedical engineer from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and was a member of Wright Medical’s management team for 18 years in a variety of leadership roles such as Extremities and Biologics R&D, Clinical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Quality and Reimbursement.  


Chris Damien
Director of Biologics R&D, Stryker 

Dun Liu, PhD
Partner and Chief Resource Officer; General Manager, R&D Center, Revotek USA

Dun Liu serves as chief research officer of Revotek, USA, oversees Revotek’s product pipeline research, partnership developments, and is responsible for shaping and developing Revotek’s intellectual property strategies. Dun Liu graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) in optoelectronics in 2008 and received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Dundee (UK) in 2013. He has a wide range of experience in material science, regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, and biomedical engineering. He has expertise in the medical applications of stem cell technology, nanomaterials, electroporation/sonoporation/ magnetoporation, and is familiar with keyhole surgery, next-generation sequencing technology, and high-intensity focused ultrasound technology (HIFU).


Len Lothstein, PhD
Paradox Pharmaceuticals


Divyen Patel, PhD
CEO/Founder, Genome Explorations, Inc.
Isaac Rodrigues, PhD
Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Sweetbio
Bernard Siegel, JD
Founder & Director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation

Dan Shimko
Director of Biologics R&D, Spinal & Biologics, Medtronic

Dan Shimko has worked at Medtronic Spinal since 2005. Beginning in 2011 he has led research and technology activities and product development efforts for Medtronic’s global demineralized bone matrix portfolio. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland in Biological Resources Engineering in 2000 and was awarded a PhD from Tulane University in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 for studies in bone tissue engineering. Dan has a strong science and engineering background, is a Technical Fellow in Medtronic’s Spinal division, is an AIMBE Fellow, and serves on the University of Memphis BME advisory board. He has authored 9 publications, holds over 50 issued medical device patents, and has developed and launched numerous tissue-based products and medical devices supporting spinal, orthopedic, and dental/COMFS disciplines during his career.  


Thomas "Mike" Vaughn, BS
President/CEO, Adora Life Sciences


John J. Webb
President, Tri-South Region, CIGNA


Jan 25, 2023