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Five Questions with Sudheer Ravuri, Ph.D. - Deputy Director of the Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine at Steadman Philippon Research Institute

What makes the Vail Scientific Summit so unique and what do you enjoy most about participating?

“From the very first year that we had the Vail Scientific Summit, we have always had participation from the finest scientific minds from institutions like Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin and major hospitals and medical schools throughout the United States and World. Meetings like this inspire me and motivate me to see the people that are presenting and the work that they do. They trigger ideas in me for most of my research. Most of the data here is unpublished data. That motivates all of us to work together and to ask questions of each other about the new flood of ideas that come forth during the Summit.”

How did you first develop an intertest in science?

“When I was a kid I wanted to become a teacher. I was very confident of my subject knowledge and I wanted to teach it to others. As I grew older and progressed through school in India, I discovered that I more enjoyed the demonstration of science projects and scientific results when I was at science fairs. I loved presenting the findings of research and showing everyone how it worked by demonstrating my science project. That new love made me think about science more and more as a career.”

How did you end up working in the United States?

“I graduated from India’s top medical school. After that, I came to the U.S. to do my post-doctorate research at the University of Pittsburgh and that changed my life in so many ways. My post-doctorate work at Pitt taught me how to develop and use the tools available to further my research and find actual ways in the lab to solve some of the problems that I was studying related to the HIV virus. That training helped me to not only study HIV/AIDS disease but also to manipulate the virus for stem cell engineering and gene therapy applications. It gave me a much wider view of what scientific research can do to tangibly change the world of medicine. And, coming to Pitt also gave me an opportunity to meet and work with Dr. Johnny Huard (now Chief Scientific Officer at SPRI) and that led to great changes in my career.”

How has Dr. Huard influenced your career?

“When I began my studies at the University of Pittsburgh, I started working on viruses and how we could control them. I then moved on to studying the emerging and fascinating field of stem cells and that work led me to working with Dr. Huard. My association with him made me even more interested in stem cell research and we started collaborating together. He then received the opportunity to move to Vail and start the Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine and become Chief Scientific Officer here at SPRI, and I was fortunate enough to have him invite me to join him here in the labs in Vail.”

You’ve been Dr. Huard’s Deputy Director at SPRI for several years. What it is like to work with him on a daily basis?

“It’s incredibly fun. Dr. Huard is always energetic and very motivated and that keeps me and everyone around him at SPRI inspired. In scientific terms, he and I speak the same language. We are always on the same page. We set up and accomplish the goals that we want to achieve, ultimately for the patient care and benefit. Life in the labs at SPRI can be a lot of fun and is always inspiring.”

For further information or other inquiries about The Steadman Clinic or Steadman Philippon Research Institute, contact Lynda Sampson, Vice President of External Affairs (lsampson@sprivail.org).

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