ISE Looks to the Future

As part of the University’s strategic plan, “The Pathway to the Future,” ISE has bolstered its faculty with the next generation of scholars to investigate and teach personalized medicine and translational regenerative medicine.

In September 2011, Chancellor Woodson announced a faculty-hiring program known as the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence program, a part on the University’s 2011-2020 strategic plan, “The Pathway to the Future.” This program has invested $5 million to facilitate partnerships of academic colleges to hire individual scholars or small groups (clusters) of scholars in strategically important areas to further the University’s teaching and research mission. The ISE department is heavily involved in two of these areas, Personalized Medicine and Translational Regenerative Medicine.

Personalized Medicine

The goal of personalized medicine is to make optimal treatment decisions for an individual patient based on all information available thus allowing the tailoring of treatment to the patient. NC State’s program, a partnership of faculty from the Statistics, Mathematics and ISE, focuses on the development and implementation of quantitative methods toward this goal. To achieve these lofty goals, the interdisciplinary cluster search committee would need world-class scholars to provide both scientific leadership and vision, as well as and cutting-edge technical skills. To that end, the ISE welcomes Dr. Maria Mayorga and Dr. Osman Ozaltin to the faculty.

Dr. Maria Mayorga joins the ISE department from Clemson University. Her primary research interests are in modeling, analyzing and optimizing stochastic and dynamic systems with a focus on health and service systems. One of her personalized medicine research thrusts is developing predictive models of health and economic outcomes. In this stream of research, Maria uses multiple sources of secondary data and a mixed methods approach to enable predictions of health outcomes at levels for which it is difficult to conduct studies in practice: generational, large populations. Another project aims at addressing fundamental research barriers in moving from efficacy to effectiveness estimates by explicitly considering individual patient preferences when the underlying patient population is heterogeneous. Dr. Mayorga is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.

Maria Mayorga
Maria Mayorga

Associate Professor
PhD, University of California at Berkeley, 2006
MS, University of California at Berkeley, 2002
BS, George Washington University, 2000

Maria Mayorga’s research is addressing fundamental research barriers in moving from estimates of efficacy to estimates of effectiveness of interventions or policies by explicitly considering individual patient preferences when the underlying patient population is heterogeneous. She is also interested in optimally allocating resources in Emergency Medical Service systems. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary and is thus facilitated via collaborations with health services researchers such as epidemiologists, economists and medical doctors.


Before joining the ISE Department Dr. Osman Ozaltin was an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Osman has focused his research on seasonal influenza, a major health concern. Each year, the World Health Organization recommends which kind and how many flu strains to include in the annual vaccine. They also determine the timing of the composition decisions which affects flu shot production. Both of these decisions have to be made under uncertainty many months before the flu season starts. Osman looks to quantify the trade-offs involved through a multistage stochastic model that determines the optimal flu shot composition and its timing in a dynamic environment. He incorporates risk sensitivity through mean-risk models and provides valuable insights for pressing policy issues. Dr. Ozaltin is a winner of the IIE Pritsker Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Osman Ozaltin
Osman Ozaltin

Associate Professor
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2011
MS, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
BS, Bogazici University, Istanbul 2005

Osman Ozaltin’s research interests span theoretical, computational, and applied aspects of mathematical programming, focusing on multilevel stochastic optimization problems arising in public health policy making, personalized medical decision making and healthcare delivery. He is also interested in developing efficient algorithms for large-scale combinatorial problems in bioinformatics. His methods include integer programming, combinatorial optimization, stochastic programming, bilevel programming, quadratic programming, and decomposition algorithms.


Translational Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is a rapidly growing field that requires comprehensive interactive approaches. NC State’s program, a partnership of faculty from the College of Engineering, Textiles and Veterinary Medicine, and the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, focuses on the translational aspects of stem cells; the development, manufacture and operation of custom bioreactors and robotics; and the development and clinical testing of three-dimensional scaffolds. The goal of the search committee was to attract faculty that could build an internationally recognized program in regenerative medicine. To achieve this, ISE welcomes Dr. Binil Starly to the faculty.

Dr. Starly joins ISE from the University of Oklahoma where he began his regenerative medicine research. Binil has focused his research into developing a production line that is capable of converting raw biomaterials and other ingredients into tissue model systems in a non-stop monitored process. These tissue models will be produced in sufficiently large quantities to advance the study of cancer biology, stem cell biology, disease pathology and drug toxicity/screening activities. Ultimately, this research will be used to develop a flexible manufacturing line to produce customized human tissue and organs as part of a regenerative medicine therapy. Dr. Starly is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.


Binil Starly
Binil Starly

Associate Professor
PhD, Drexel University, 2006
B Tech, University of Kerala, India 2001

Binil Starly directs the Laboratory for Engineering Biological Tissue Systems engaged in the scale-up automated production of engineered tissue systems for pharmaceutical drug screening, toxicity testing and regenerative medicine applications. As part of the regenerative medicine cluster, his work will involve building production platforms for engineered biological tissue leveraging advances in computer aided tissue scaffold production, bio printing, intelligent machines, non-invasive sensors and advanced bioreactors to achieve the goal of “tissue engineering on-demand”.