Portrait of Associate Professor Mervyn Merrilees.

Associate Professor Mervyn Merrilees, School of Medical Sciences, University of Auckland, has significant expertise in the structure of blood vessels and atherosclerosis, and in bioengineering of vascular and other tissues. His current focus is on increasing elastin in vessels, lungs and skin through manipulation of matrix proteoglycan content (Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2014)).

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Ning (Lulu) Zuo and Mervyn Merrilees in the lab.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Matrexa LLC, whose lead therapeutic candidates are elastin-enriched cultured skin grafts designed to overcome the shortcomings of current skin grafts and substitutes, and proteoglycan treatments for bypass vessels to increase elastin and reduce intimal hyperplasia. His company’s technology also has broad applications in dermatological preparations for wound healing, skin repair and cosmetics, and in the treatment of chronic diseases and conditions. Applications have further broadened with the discovery that the elastin technology is anti-inflammatory (Matrix Biol (2014)).

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