February 23, 2024
ATS NW Sept 2019
Professor Mandip Sachdeva (center) and assistants work on his prototype 3-D printer.
ATS NW Sept 2019
Baptist Health's hospital in Pensacola is expected to open in 2023.
ATS NW Sept 2019
Pensacola-based Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Gulf Breeze-based Andrews Research & Education Foundation have formed a partnership to conduct research on human performance.

Northwest Florida Roundup

Florida A&M creates 3-D printed human cornea cells

Carlton Proctor | 8/26/2019


Corneas on Demand

Research by Florida A&M University pharmaceutics professor Mandip Sachdeva has led to the creation of a device that allows the 3-D printing of human cornea cells.

Sachdeva says the technique could have a range of applications, from transplants to testing of new cornea-relief products to cornea wound treatment.

The advancement is an outgrowth of Sachdeva’s research, which is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Florida A&M and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Sachdeva says he began his ocular research when he became aware of scientists in the United Kingdom experimenting with 3-D printing of human corneas. “Essentially, the idea was, ‘Can we do something better than this? Can we simulate the human eye and put a cornea with cells in it?’ ”

Graduate assistant Shallu Kutlehria and researcher Paul Dinh helped Sachdeva develop the prototype.


  • Baptist Health Care plans to build a full-service hospital near Pensacola Christian College. The initial facility will include 650,000 square feet of patient care space, with an investment estimated to exceed $550 million, says CEO Mark Faulkner. BHC’s current hospital northwest of downtown Pensacola will continue to operate as a full-service hospital, Faulkner says. The new hospital is expected to open in summer 2023.


  • Perry-based snack manufacturer Super-Pufft Snacks USA has launched a $25-million expansion and plans to hire 100 workers over the next year, doubling its workforce.


  • James Seneff’s Orlando-based CNL Charitable Foundation has given $5 million to Florida State University’s College of Business. Seneff’s gift will establish an honors college and provide money to advance the college’s academic and faculty development programs. Seneff, a graduate of FSU’s business school, is founder and executive chairman of Orlando-based CNL Financial Group. “I am impressed with all the College of Business has accomplished, but in order to continue its upward trajectory, it is essential the college is able to attract the brightest minds and provide them with the most innovative, cutting-edge and relevant education,” says Seneff, a former board member of the FSU Foundation. FSU’s College of Business is among the top 30 public business schools in the nation, according to a recent ranking by U.S. News & World Report.


  • Panama City Beach’s $37-million Sports Complex opened in July and is completely booked, with 48 tournaments scheduled through July 2020. The facility features nine turf fields, four natural grass fields, dedicated tournament buildings and two championship fields with seating up to 1,500. The complex’s design accommodates soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, baseball and softball.


  • Niceville-based computer software firm Dynamic Software Solutions is expanding after winning a subcontracting role with a Boeing subsidiary. The 10-year contract carries a potential value of $259 million. Dynamic is partnering with Boeing’s Tapestry Solutions to develop precision-guided munitions for a variety of military aircraft, including the stealth F-22 and F-35 jets. Dynamic Software Solutions will be adding up to 30 jobs, says CEO Joe Staton.


  • Pensacola International Airport set a record in May, with more than 207,600 passengers, up 15% over the same month last year. The May passenger totals surpassed the July 2018 total of 201,000, the previous high for any month in the airport’s 80-year history.
  • United Airlines has launched daily non-stop service between Pensacola International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. With the addition of Newark, Pensacola International Airport now offers non-stop service to 20 destinations.
  • GoVetted, a new ridesharing company, has opened its Northwest Florida offices in Santa Rosa Beach, near Destin. GoVetted initially will provide service between Panama City and Pensacola, including Northwest Florida Beaches, Destin-Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola International airports, says Alan Roberts, chief business development officer.


  • Pensacola-based Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Gulf Breeze-based Andrews Research & Education Foundation have formed a partnership to conduct research on human performance. “This partnership is going to leverage the work of both organizations for the benefit of sports medicine as well as programs geared toward improving the capabilities and resilience of astronauts, fighter pilots, divers and other elite members of our military,” says Ken Ford, co-founder and CEO of IHMC. IHMC scientists and Andrews doctors will share office and lab space.


  • Miami attorney Dori Foster- Morales is the new president-elect of the Florida Bar. She was tapped for the post during the Bar’s June meeting and will lead the group’s 107,000-plus members beginning in mid-2020. Vero Beach attorney John M. Stewart is the current president of the Florida Bar. A native of Miami Beach, Foster-Morales received her B.A. in economics from the University of Florida in 1986 and her law degree from UF in 1989. Her legal experience includes serving as an enforcement attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., and later in New York City. She joined the 11th Circuit State Attorney’s Office in 1998 and is currently a partner with Foster-Morales Sockel-Stone.

    She is a fellow in the American and International Academies of Matrimonial Lawyers, a fellow in the American Bar Foundation and currently serves on the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors’ Communications and Legislation committees. Foster-Morales also is a prominent statewide advocate for raising awareness about the importance of balancing a legal career and family life.


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