Harold Alexander, PhD
In 1977, Dr. Alexander was promoted to full professor at Stevens and moved to a new post as professor in the Department of Surgery and Director of Orthopaedic Research at the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). His major research interests at NJMS included the stress-induced remodeling of soft tissues, the development of composite and absorbable orthopaedic implants, and the design of bioactive implants. In 1987, in recognition of his decade long effort to develop prosthetic ligaments and tendons, the Society for Biomaterials conferred upon him the Founders Award for best current research. During his years at NJMS, Dr. Alexander co-founded two medical device companies, CAS Medical Systems and Orthomatrix, Inc., and acted as a consultant to the medical products division of the Hexcel Corporation. CAS manufactures and sells neonatal cardiovascular products originally developed by Dr. Alexander and a colleague at Stevens, and Orthomatrix was established with colleagues from NJMS, the University of Dayton, and Harrington Arthritis Research Center in Arizona to pursue a number of orthopaedic and dental device technologies. He also helped establish the joint UMDNJ-Rutgers University program in biomedical engineering. Because of his unique combination of industrial and academic experience, in 1986 Dr. Alexander was appointed by the Society for Biomaterials to edit a new journal, Applied Biomaterials. He became Editor Emeritus in 2009. Also in 1986, Dr. Alexander left NJMS for a professorship in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of the New York University School of Medicine (NYUSM). Based at NYUSM's Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD), he was also named director of the hospital's Department of Bioengineering. While at NYUSM, he helped establish the Biomedical Engineering Center at the City College of New York with funding from a Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunities Grant. His research at HJD involved absorbable composite implants for fracture fixation and surface microgeometry control of tissue attachment to implants. This later research area, pursued with colleague, John L. Ricci, led to the establishment of yet a third medical device company, the Orthogen Corporation, a research and Development company based in Springfield, NJ. In April, 1996, with funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health through the Small Business Innovative Research Program, Dr. Alexander resigned his posts at NYUSM and HJD to assume the presidency of the Orthogen Corporation. The company’s primary efforts were in improving the osseointegration of dental implants and in developing unique materials for bone repair. The Laser-Lok™ dental implant, first marketed in late 2004 after multicenter clinical trials in the US and Europe, is currently marketed by BioHorizons, Inc. of Birmingham AL. It accounts for $50 million of BioHorizons’ sales. In 2007 he assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer of Orthogen LLC, a spin-off from BioHorizons. In 2013 he retired from Orthogen LLC. Dr. Alexander is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and a Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE), of the Society for Biomaterials. A member of the Society for Biomaterials since 1978, Dr. Alexander has served on annual meeting program committees, a number of Society committees and the Council since 1986. Even though his primary activity is now with Orthogen LLC, he continues to advise thesis students and serves on the faculty of Rutgers University. Dr. Alexander has extensively published and lectured worldwide in biomedical engineering. He holds 15 US patents and has been responsible for more than $20 M in grant funding. He resides in Short Hills, NJ.