James M. Anderson, MD, PhD

Distinguished University Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Department of Biomedical Engineering
School of Engineering
Case School of Engineering
Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Case School of Engineering
Developmental Therapeutics Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. James M. Anderson received his PhD at Oregon State University in 1967. In 1976, he graduated from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with an MD degree and finished his Anatomic Pathology residency at the Institute of Pathology of University Hospitals of Cleveland in 1979. Following the completion of his residency, Dr. Anderson joined the faculty of the Institute of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University. 

Dr. Anderson has worked in the area of biomaterials, medical devices, and prostheses for the past 50 years and his current activities range from the clinical pathology evaluation of retrieved implants from humans to fundamental studies of cellular interactions with biomaterials.

Dr. Anderson is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering. He is a founding member and past president of the Society for Biomaterials and the Controlled Release Society. He is also a founding member of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE). He is the Co-Chair of Working Group 1 for the development of the International Standard Organization’s (ISO) Standard on Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices, ISO 10993. He is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 

In 2005, Dr. Anderson received the Elsevier Biomaterials Gold Medal Award given to the individual who has made the most significant contributions to biomaterials science over the 25 year period from 1980 to 2005. He received this award at the Tissue Engineering Science International Conference held in Shanghai, China, in October of 2005. Dr. Anderson is the recipient of the 2006 Chugai Mentoring Award given by the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) to senior investigators who have distinguished their careers with a dedication to mentoring and education. In 2006, Dr. Anderson was awarded the Honoris Causa Degree (honorary Doctorate of Philosophy Degree) by the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 2008, Dr. Anderson was elected to the American Association of Physicians. Dr. Anderson was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2011. In 2012, Dr. Anderson was awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor by Case Western Reserve University. He is the recipient of the 2013 Acta Biomaterial Gold Medal for his contributions to biomaterial science and engineering. In 2021, he received the Chandra P. Sharma Award from the Society for Biomaterials and Artificial Organs India (SBAOI) for his outstanding contributions to establishing the immunology concepts in the field of Biomaterials Science, enabling the development of the new generation of implantable materials and devices for human healthcare. In 2022, Dr. Anderson received the Professional Impact Award from AIMBE for outstanding leadership through activities involving impactful research, journal editorship, professional society governance and guidance, and regulatory standards development. He is also recognized for “being way ahead of the times when it comes to diversity and inclusion”.

Research Information

Research Interests

Our research efforts are centered around the development of a better understanding of blood and tissue/material interactions as they relate to implantable devices and biomaterials. The overall focus of our efforts is on the cellular and humoral responses to implanted materials. Studies currently ongoing include an analysis of the wound healing response to vascular graft materials, in vivo biocompatibility testing with the focus on macrophage and foreign body giant cell adhesion and activation, and a determination of those factors which lead to the biodegradation of biomaterials. In addition, we are investigating human blood/material interactions using an in vitro system and interrelating variations in protein adsorption, cellular components, coagulation parameters, platelet activation and release, and complement activation.

External Appointments

Physician, Department of Pathology, Anatomic
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center


Foreign body reaction to biomaterials, James M. Anderson, Analiz Rodriguez, and David T. Chang, Seminars in Immunology, 2008;20(2):86-100. 

Biodegradation and biocompatibility of PLA and PLGA microspheres, J.M. Anderson and M.S. Shive, Adv. Drug Del. Rev. 28, 5-24 (1997). Re-published in 2012 at the request of the editor.

Biocompatibility of implants: Lymphocyte/macrophage interactions, James M. Anderson and Amy K. McNally, Seminars in Immunopathology, 2011;33(3):221-233.

Inflammation, Wound Healing, and The Foreign-Body Response, James M. Anderson, in Biomaterials Science, An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 2nd edition, B.D. Ratner, A.S. Hoffman, F.J. Schoen, J.E. Lemons, Eds., Elsevier Academic Press, 2004, pp. 296-304.

In Vivo Biocompatibility and Time-Dependent Changes in Mechanical Properties of Woven Collagen Meshes: A Comparison to Xenograft and Synthetic Mid-Urethral Sling Materials, Katherine Chapin, Ahmad Khalifa, Thomas Mbimba, James Anderson, Yuri Novitsky, Adonis Hijaz, Ozan Akkus, J. Biomed Mater. Res. B, 2019 Apr; 107(3): 479-489.  doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34138.

Bioactive Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Suppress Osteoclastogenesis and Ovariectomy-Induced Bone Loss through regulating the TRAF6-p62-CYLD Signaling Complex, Hua Ai, L. Liu, James M. Anderson, et al., Acta Biomater. 2020 Feb; 103: 281-292.  doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.12.022.

Phenotypic expression in human monocyte-derived interleukin-4-induced foreign body giant cells and macrophages in vitro: Dependence on material surface properties, Amy K. McNally and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 2015;103A:1380-1390. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35280.

Effect of surgical wound classification on biologic graft performance in complex hernia repair: An experimental study, Karem C. Harth, Jeffrey A. Blatnik, James M. Anderson, Michael R. Jacobs, Farhad Zeinali, and Michael J. Rosen, Surgery, 2013; 153 (4):481-492. 

In vivo quantitative and qualitative assessment of foreign body giant cell formation on biomaterials in mice deficient in natural killer lymphocyte subsets, mast cells, or the interleukin-4 receptor alpha and in severe combined immunodeficient mice, Junghoon Yang, Brian Jao, Amy K. McNally and James M. Anderson, J Biomed Mater Res, 2014; 102(6):2017-2023. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35152.

Lymphocyte/macrophage interactions: Biomaterial surface-dependent cytokines, chemokine, and matrix protein production, David T. Chang, Jacqueline A. Jones, Howard Meyerson, Erica Colton, Il Keun Kwon, Takehisa Matsuda, and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 2008;87A(3):676-687. 

T cell subset distributions following primary and secondary implantation at subcutaneous biomaterial implant sites, A. Rodriguez, G. Voskerician, H. Meyerson, S.R. MacEwan, and J.M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A. 2008; 85A(2):556-565.

Quantitative in vivo cytokine analysis at synthetic biomaterial implant sites, A. Rodriguez, H. Meyerson, and J.M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 2008;89(1):152-159. 

Evaluation of clinical biomaterial surface effects on T lymphocyte activation, Analiz Rodriguez, Howard Meyerson, and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 2010;92A1:214-220. 

Lymphocyte adhesion and interactions with biomaterial adherent macrophages and foreign body giant cells, David T. Chang, Erica Colton, Takehisa Matsuda, and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 2009;91A:1210-1220. PMID 19148923. 

The Foreign body reaction in T cell deficient mice, Analiz Rodriguez, Sarah R. MacEwan, Howard Meyerson, James T. Kirk, and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 2009;90A:106-113, PMID 18491378. 

Paracrine and juxtacrine lymphocyte enhancement of adherent macrophage and foreign body giant cell activation, David T. Chang, Erica Colton, and James M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 2009;89A(2):490-498, PMID 18437695. 

In Vivo Assessment of Tissue Compatibility, James M. Anderson and Frederick J. Schoen, in Biomaterials Science, An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 2nd edition, B.D. Ratner, A.S. Hoffman, F.J. Schoen, J.E. Lemons, Eds., Elsevier Academic Press, 2004, pp. 360-367.

Implant Retrieval and Evaluation, James M. Anderson, Frederick J. Schoen, Stanley A. Brown, and Katharine Merritt, in Biomaterials Science, An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 2nd edition, B.D. Ratner, A.S. Hoffman, F.J. Schoen, J.E. Lemons, Eds., Elsevier Academic Press, 2004, pp. 771-782.

Future challenges in the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of biomaterial biocompatibility, J.M. Anderson, Regenerative Biomaterials 2016; doi: 10.1093/rb/rbw001.

Foreign body-type multinucleated giant cells induced by interleukin-4 express select lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules and are phenotypically distinct from osteoclasts and dendritic cells, Amy K. McNally and James M. Anderson, Exper. & Molec. Pathol., 91 (2011):673-681.

Effect of Surgical Wound Classification on Biologic Graft Performance: An Experimental Study, K Harth, J Blatnik, J Anderson, M Jacobs, F Zeinali, M Rosen, Surgery, 2013;153(4):481-492, PMID 23218885.

First-in-human testing of a wirelessly controlled drug delivery microchip, Robert Farra, Norman F. Sheppard, Laura McCabe, Robert M. Neer, James M. Anderson, John T. Santini, Jr., Michael J. Cima, and Robert Langer, Science-Transl. Med., 2012;22 4:122ra21. DOI: 10.1126/scitrnaslmed.3003276. 

Shear stress affects the architecture of Candida albicans biofilms, Pranab K. Mukherjee, David V. Chand, Jyotsna Chandra, James M. Anderson, and Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, Mycoses, 2009;52(5):440-446.

S. epidermidis biofilm formation: Effects of biomaterial surface chemistry and serum proteins, J.D. Patel, M. Ebert, R. Ward, and J.M. Anderson, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A. 2007;80A(#3):742-751.

Practical Approach to Blood Compatibility Assessments, M.F. Wold, James M. Anderson, Biocompatibility and Performance of Medical Devices, J.P. Boutrand editor, Woodhead Publishing 2020, 167-206.

Implications of the Acute and Chronic Inflammatory Response and the Foreign Body Reaction to the Immune Response of Implanted Biomaterials, James M. Anderson and Sirui Jiang, in The Immune Response to Implanted Materials and Devices, Chapter 2, Bruna Corradetti, Ed., Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2016, pp. 15-36.

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