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Office Location:
413 Salk Pavilion

Mailing address:
335 Sutherland Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Phone: 412-648-8824

Michele Leahy

Other Affiliations:
Center for Craniofacial Regeneration


Fatima N. Syed-Picard, MSE, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Research Interests

The Syed-Picard research group focuses on using tissue engineering to generate devices for dental and craniofacial regenerative therapies and as controllable model systems to study basic biological processes. We are particularly interested in investigating mechanisms facilitating the natural development of organized multi-tissue structures and applying these developmental mechanisms to generate complex engineered tissues for regenerative therapy. Our laboratory predominately uses 3D stem-based scaffold-free tissue constructs (SFCs) since these biomimetic tissues closely emulate naturally formed tissues. Scaffold-free, 3D tissue engineering presents an innovative platform where cells generate and organize their own preferred 3D tissue utilizing their endogenous matrix for structure. These constructs are additionally powerful since several types SFCs have been shown to self-assemble into spatially organized multi-tissue structures, a challenge that still remains with traditional tissue engineering methods. We are working on engineering multiple types of tissues to regenerate bone, dentin-pulp complex, periodontal tissues, biological tooth root, and peripheral nerve tissue. We also utilize a number of engineering tools to develop and study these engineered tissues including advanced microscopy and microfluidic devices.

Technique Expertise or Resources to share

Our laboratory studies dental pulp stem cells, periodontal ligament stem cells, stem cells from the apical papilla. We utilize scaffold-free tissue engineering and microfluidic technologies.


Dental pulp stem cells, periodontal ligament stem cells, stem cells from the apical papilla, microfluidics, tissue engineering, pulp regeneration, periodontal tissue regeneration, tooth root regeneration, facial nerve regeneration.


Lab website:


Lab Members

Kristi Rothermund Laboratory Manager
Michelle Drewry Bioengineering PhD student
Tia Calabrese Bioengineering PhD student
Nadeen Meshry Oral Biology MS student