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Dr. Sashank Reddy

Dr. Sashank Reddy Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins
Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Dr. Sashank Reddy
Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins
Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Why did you join PSRC?
I joined because I like and admire so many of the members. My medical school mentors Drs. Eric Liao and Bernie Lee first introduced me to the group. At my first meeting in Louisville, I got to meet and socialize with Drs. Paul Cederna and Justin Sacks. Ever since it has been a pleasure to get to know so many colleauges who want to better understand our patients’ reconstructive challenges and improve what we offer them.

Tell us about yourself!
I am a craniofacial surgeon and scientist at Johns Hopkins. I joined the faculty last year having completed residency and fellowship here. My clinical practice focuses on adult craniofacial surgery – trauma and oncologic reconstruction as well as headache surgery. In addition, I fun a developmental biology lab and serve as the Medical Director for Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. I live in Balitmore with my wife who is a pediatric radiologist and out two boys.

You had an impressive track record with entrepreneurship, having co-founded LifeSprout, and now serving as the Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. How did you first get into this?
When I was finishing my MD-PhD at Harvard and MIT, Boston was on the cusp of a second wave of biomedical company creation, one that swelled to great effect over the last decade. I wanted to learn about it, so I spent a year at Third Rock Ventures. We started a vompany in the designer biologics space that received M in Series A financing and ultimately went public. After returning to Johns Hopkins, I applied those learnings in alunching my own startup – LifeSprout. The company is advancing discoveries I made with Drs. Hai-Quan Mao and Justin Sacks. We’ve created a set of biomimetic and biodegradable synthetic materials that look and perform like living tissue. By encouraging tissue ingrowth and functional integration, our hope is that these materials can solve problems in plastic surgery and regenerative cell therapy more broadly.

Could you elaborate on your current research interest? What do you foresee as the future of soft tissue reconstruction, and how will this alter clinical management?
My sense is that the future belongs to regeneration. It’s worth remembering that it was plastic surgeons like Dr. John Mulliken who brought the first regenerative cell therapy – cultured epithelial autografts into clinical practice in the 1980s. I think the next decade will witness additional approaches that propel the body’s healing responses in a more regenerative direction. My own lab works on fundamental issues of organ size control and homeostasis with the hope that principles we uncover can be applied to regenerative medicine. We are also developing methods to support cell therapy for restoration of the soft tissue envelope in the face and body.

What would you be doing if you were not in medicine?
If I weren’t in medicine or science, I will likely be working in law. Constitutional law is fascinating in that a document only four pages long and written nearly two hundred fifty years ago can so surely guide our contemporary society. I would imagine that critically confronting that text, its scholarship, and the issues they raise for all of us would be very rewarding.

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