dr. ir. D. (Debby) Gawlitta Associate Professor
- Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics and Special Dental Care
Dr. Debby Gawlitta is an associate Professor working on maxillofacial tissue regeneration, particularly focusing on bone regeneration. She is inspired by the natural mechanisms of the body for bone development and repair in her regenerative strategies. Consequently, one of her research lines revolves around recapitulation of the natural direct mechanism for bone formation (intramembranous), which is accompanied by blood vessel formation. Additionally, she investigates bone regeneration from a cartilage template (endochondral), which for example naturally occurs in the growth plate.
Research keywords include clinical translation, biomaterials, stem/progenitor cells, bioreactors, and 3D bioprinting.
Dr. Gawlitta was trained as a biomedical engineer at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Her PhD thesis was focused on generating engineered skeletal muscle tissue to model and monitor the development of pressure ulcers.
In 2007, she moved to the department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center in Utrecht, to work on bone and cartilage tissue regeneration within the Hospital's strategic impulse on regenerative medicine. During this postdoctoral period, she received a prestigious Veni grant (Dutch innovation grant) to pursue (endochondral) bone regeneration from a cartilage template with bone marrow-derived stem cells.
In 2014, she moved to the department of 'Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Special Dental Care' to establish her own group focusing on craniomaxillofacial bone regeneration. She currently holds a position as Associate Professor, supervising her group in the RMCU (Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht). In 2016 she received a start-up grant to continue her endochondral research line from the AO foundation.
Further, Debby Gawlitta developed and coordinates the 2-year Master’s program RMT – Regenerative Medicine and Technology. Since 2012, RMT is a collaborative program of the UMCU, Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology.
Board member of the Strategic Research Program (speerpunt) 'Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells', UMC Utrecht
Member of the internationalization committee of the UMC Utrecht
Member of the local organizing committee of the ESB 2018 (annual meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials).
Scientific board member of the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht
Coordinator of Master's program 'Regenerative Medicine and Technology'
Teaching of various annual Bachelor, Master’s, PhD and Summer school lectures in the Biomedical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, and Medicine curricula on e.g. Biomechanics, Bone Tissue Engineering and Bioreactors.
Reviewer for several journals, including Tissue Engineering, Biofabrication, Biomaterials, Biomedical Materials Research
Fellowship and Awards
2018: H2020-MSCA-COFUND 'RESCUE' (co-applicant)
2017: AO grant (AOCMF-17-17G) ‘MACRON: Mandibular Condyle Regeneration’ (€ 350,000)
2016: AO Foundation start-up grant (S-16-130G) ‘Clinical translation of endochondral bone regeneration’ (€ 107,000)
2016: Selected for the Research Talent Program of the UMC Utrecht
2014: Internal grant of UMC Utrecht for translational research (€ 33,300)
2013: NWO (Dutch Science Foundation) Graduate Program grant (€ 800,000)
2012: Selected for the Steyn Parvé program for stimulation of excellent female scientists of UMC Utrecht
2010: Veni: personal innovational incentive grant entitled ‘Mimicking nature: growing bone from cartilage’ was awarded by STW (Dutch technology foundation) (€250,000)
2008: Award for best thesis at the faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology
2000: Award for internship at foreign institute (Eindhoven University of Technology)