The Canavan Group uses creative, diverse and interdisciplinary methods to explore both fundamental science and new research. All with the goal of creating practical, real-world.

Students in the Canavan Group come from different disciplines and backgrounds, and are often not traditional biomedical, chemistry or biomechanical students. They may have taken alternative paths to arrive here. They may not be interested in an academic career after graduation. Many want to form their own companies or join other biomedical or biotech firms. Their focus is different – they want to apply science to the problems they see in their communities and the world.

What every student has in common is a deep curiosity and desire for a different laboratory and educational experience that allows their creativity to shine.

Heather Canavan, PhD


Dr. Canavan’s research focuses on cell/surface interactions, bioactive polymers and biocompatibility, and the design of adaptive tools and devices for enhanced mobility. She is also extremely active in engineering and scientific education, especially classes that explore “soft skills”: ethics, presentation skills, and the role of the engineer in a global economy.

She is also the co-founder of Adaptive Biomedical Design, a company that connects idea generators with students, teachers, engineers, marketing and patent experts. And the technology and resources to design, prototype and patent their ideas to create solutions – new advances, innovations and inventions – in the biomedical and medical fields.

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