National policy organization picks WSU's Dr. Patrick Hines for innovation fellowship

Return to News Listing
July 21, 2015

DETROIT – The Washington, D.C.-based educational and policy studies organization The Aspen Institute has selected Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Patrick Hines, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Physiology and an assistant professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, one of only 20 health care leaders in the country for the inaugural class of its Health Innovators Fellowship. Hines practices at the Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Hines is founder and chief executive officer of the start-up company Functional Fluidics, and was chosen for the Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship for his leadership in developing the company, which provides diagnostic platforms for pharmaceutical companies and research scientists to better predict bleeding and clotting disorders while reducing health care costs, and facilitating the personalization of medical care.

“I am honored to be recognized among such an amazing group of health care innovators nationwide,” Hines said. “I am proud that Wayne State University and the City of Detroit can also be recognized on a national stage, as I am only one of many individuals who are equally deserving of this recognition.”

The new two-year fellowship was launched to strengthen the leadership of innovators across the United States health care system and challenge them to create new approaches that improve the health and well-being of Americans. Fellows hail from a variety of industries and sectors, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, mental health, government, health care venture capital and veterans’ health.

“Our goal for the Health Innovators Fellowship to is to bring together a diverse group of leaders to explore how they can harness their creativity, experience and energy to solve our most pressing health care challenges,” said Rima Cohen, managing director of the Health Innovators Fellowship. “As a proven leader in the development of diagnostic tools to facilitate personalized medical care, Dr. Patrick Hines’ perspective will be invaluable to our inaugural class.”

The Health Innovator fellows will spend four weeks over two years at seminars in Colorado, South Carolina and/or Maryland exploring leadership, core values, desired legacies and their vision for the health care sector. Each fellow commits to launching a leadership venture that will stretch and challenge them, and have a positive impact on health care in the U.S. Dr. Hines will continue his work to treatment approach.

“When a critically ill patient arrives in the pediatric intensive care unit with a life-threatening blood clot, we quickly make a diagnosis and provide therapy for that illness. The response to our therapy varies widely from patient to patient, despite the presence of a unifying disease. What if we could test our therapy against a small sample of a patient’s blood, observe the response, and select the therapy that works best for that individual?” he asked.

Hines and WSU colleagues Jennell Jackson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow, and Xiufeng Gao, M.D., a research associate, have solved the problem by developing microfluidic flow-based blood tests that can detect clotting and bleeding potential in tiny drops of blood.

“An individual’s blood can be tested against a panel of anti-clotting medications in a simulated blood flow environment, allowing us to select the medication likely to perform best for that individual,” Hines said. “We first applied this approach to a new class of medications being developed to prevent the slugging of damaged red blood cells that cause vaso-occlusion in individuals with sickle cell disease. The goal is for this approach to identify the medication or combination of medications that will be most effective for individual patients.”

The Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., resident is a native of Elizabeth City, N.C., and completed both his fellowship in critical care medicine and pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He received his medical degree in 2004 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hines was nominated for the fellowship by WSU Division of Research Associate Vice President of Commercialization Joan Dunbar, who has supported the transition of his laboratory technology into Functional Fluidics.

“Patrick has a unique skillset and experience and has proven his ability to successfully maneuver between the cultures and perspectives of science, patient care, business and advocacy,” Dunbar said. “We have been privileged to work with Patrick during the launch of Functional Fluidics, and look forward to the clinical and economic impact of the endeavors of the Functional Fluidics team.”

Hines also credits mentor Ashok Sarnaik, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, who recruited him to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and WSU; senior research mentor and Department of Physiology Chair Jian-Ping Jin, M.D.; and the School of Medicine’s Vice Dean of Research Bonita Stanton, M.D., who has supported his research since her time as chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. For more information, visit


About Wayne State University School of Medicine

Founded in 1868, the Wayne State University School of Medicine educates more than 1,000 medical students. In addition to undergraduate medical education, the school offers master’s degree, doctoral and M.D.-Ph.D. programs in 14 areas of basic science to about 400 students annually. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter @wsu_med_school and Pinterest.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.