Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Associate Dean
David A. Vorp, PhD

Vorp Associate Dean for Research

David A. Vorp, PhD

Associate Dean for Research
William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering


David A. Vorp, PhD is the William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He received both his BS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Swanson School of Engineering in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Dr. Vorp began his academic career in 1992 after joining the faculty of the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he built an internationally-renowned NIH-funded research program. He has been an integral part of the Department of Bioengineering since its founding in 1996, and served as its graduate program chair from 2001-2009. He also serves as the founding Director for the Center for Vascular Remodeling and Regeneration, and is Co-Director of the Center for Medical Innovation.


Dr. Vorp has worked closely with clinical colleagues to develop a multi-disciplinary, NIH-funded research program focusing on abdominal aortic aneurysm disease, vascular “mechanopathobiology” (the role of biomechanical forces in the development of vascular disease), and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications for vascular and urethral systems. Dr. Vorp has published 95 peer-reviewed articles to date, and currently serves on three editorial boards. His research has been supported by over $8 million in funding as principal investigator (PI), and an additional $4 million as collaborating investigator, from foundation and federal agencies such as The Whitaker Foundation, the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Pittsburgh Foundation, and others.

In 2009, Dr. Vorp co-founded Neograft Technologies, Inc., which focuses on the commercialization of Angioshield™, a vein graft modification technology developed in his laboratory. Angioshield creates a structural polymeric support layer surrounding the harvested vein that mechanically supports it against over-dilation from arterial pressure. He currently holds four patents in this and other technologies.

Dr. Vorp has mentored numerous trainees at all levels, including 13 post-doctoral fellows, 12 PhD students including one MD/PhD student, nine MS students including one MD/MS student, nine medical students, and 54 undergraduate students from 15 different universities. Many of his students have been supported by NIH, NSF and AHA fellowships. He currently serves as PI or co-PI on three training grants and has served as training faculty on three others.

In 2011 Dr. Vorp was recognized for his research achievements with the prestigious Van C. Mow Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and was twice awarded a Pitt Innovator Award. He serves on the Executive Committee of the ASME Bioengineering Division (BED; 2006-present), and is the current ASME BED Secretary/Chair-Elect (2012-2013). Dr. Vorp was elected to the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) for two terms (2006-2009; 2009-2012), and serves as Chair of the BMES National Meetings Committee (2009-present). He recently became the first non-MD President of the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology.