Alan J. Russell, PhD

Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, Carnegie Mellon University


Dr. Alan Russell (Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry, 1987, Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London) is Director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he is the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor. Dr. Russell also serves as the Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President for the Allegheny Health Network. He was the Founding Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, serving in that capacity from 2001-2011.


Dr. Russell serves on the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration and currently is Chair of the scientific review panel for the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health. Dr. Russell has served many scientific roles for the Department of Defense, including being a member of the Defense Health Board and the founding Co-Director of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine.


For the last 20 years, the Russell laboratory has been discovering what can be achieved by exploiting the rich interface of chemistry, biology and materials. Dr. Russell’s work has impacted fields as diverse as chemical and polymer synthesis to tissue engineering and homeland defense. Dr. Russell has pioneered how to make polymers from enzymes and how to incorporate enzymes into bulk polymers. In a series of discoveries Dr. Russell’s laboratory has found how to meld the synthetic and biological worlds.


Within the scientific community, Dr. Russell has participated on 24 advisory boards. Since the outset of his career, he has received numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to research, teaching and public service. These awards include R&D 100 Award – 2000 (R&D Magazine), three Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence – 2000 to 2006, sixteen consecutive appearances in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering – 1992 through present, the Gilbreth lectureship from the National Academy of Engineering – 2004, and the Cockroft Rutherford lectureship from the University of Manchester – 2007, the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Manchester – 2008, #32 in Rolling Stone’s “Top 100 People who will change America” – 2009, the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Pittsburgh Award – 2010, the Ladies Hospital Aid Society Doctor of Distinction Award – 2011, and the TERMIS Lifetime Achievement Award – 2012.


Dr. Russell has contributed significantly to the interface between the fields of chemistry, biology, and material science. He has given more than 250 national and international invited lectures. Dr. Russell has published over 150 articles in refereed journals, one book, and 10 book chapters and holds 14 patents, with over 25 additional pending patents. Dr. Russell is the Editor-in-Chief of Disruptive Science and Technology.


Contact Us


Dr. Alan Russell
Highmark Distinguished Career Professor
alanrussell@cmu.edu
412-544-6977 (Nicole Diecks - Assistant to Dr. Russell)