Juana Mendenhall

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A new way to treat worn knee cartilage; surgery optional

Juana Mendenhall, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., also leads the institution’s SMART Therapeutic Biomaterials Research Lab which is charged with creating pivotal solutions using tissue engineering strategies to treat osteoarthritis. The lab’s work on the 3D printing of smart therapeutic biomaterials as injectable hydrogels for tissue engineering and as bio-inks for cellular therapies was recently funded by the National Science Foundation.

Mendenhall founded TheraVisc™ LLC, a company that specializes in developing injectable gels to treat osteoarthritis.  Her ground-breaking medical technology is one of the first medical technologies to show real potential in healing osteoarthritis with patents pending. Under her leadership, TheraVisc fosters minority training and economic job growth in the metro Atlanta area by developing technical and skills training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Additionally, under her tutelage, Morehouse students have won numerous national and regional conference awards for their work in the research lab.  Her work has been featured on Atlanta CBS 46 and at the Platform conference designed to promote diversity and entrepreneurship for new technologies in healthcare. 

Mendenhall received her Bachelor in Science degree from North Carolina A&T State University. She earned a doctorate in polymer chemistry at Clark Atlanta University in 2006, was a Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University and was a Fellow at Emory University’s Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) fellowship program.