Dr. David Puleo

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering


301 Sparkman Drive
Student Services Building
Room 303E
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



David A. Puleo, Ph.D., was appointed as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Alabama in Huntsville on Aug. 1, 2022.

Dave previously served as dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi (UM) from 2018-2022. Prior to joining UM, he was at the University of Kentucky for 27 years, holding the positions of associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor of biomedical engineering before leaving. Over the course of his career, Dave rose through the faculty ranks; taught undergraduate and graduate courses; was a productive investigator; mentored high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, medical and dental students and residents, and faculty; was also a center director and department chair; and had been externally engaged with industry and fundraising.  In his various administrative roles, Dave and his teams increased undergraduate and graduate student enrollment, increased the number of underrepresented and female engineering students, facilitated increased research expenditures, added new programs and inter-institutional academic partnerships, and oversaw new capital projects, among other accomplishments. 

Dave earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has authored more than 120 refereed journal articles, coauthored a textbook, and coedited and published several other books and periodicals. As a researcher in the area of regenerative biomaterials, Dave’s group investigated materials for enhancing tissue regeneration.  More specifically, they developed degradable and erodible biomaterials that release one or more drugs to control cell and tissue responses, typically for musculoskeletal applications.  Dave served as principal investigator and investigator on federal, state, and industry grants and contracts exceeding $13M. His research has led to nearly 20 intellectual property disclosures, patent applications, and patents, and is associated with three start-up companies.  Dr. Puleo is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Society, International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, and National Academy of Inventors. 


  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, 1991
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, 1987

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (elected in 2020)
  • Fellow, International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (elected in 2016)
  • Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society (elected in 2010)
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (elected in 2008)
  • Phi Kappa Phi (All Discipline Honor Society; University of Mississippi chapter; inducted in 2019)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society; inducted in 2016)
  • Fellow, Southeastern Conference (SEC) Universities Academic Leadership Development Program (2015-2016)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Kentucky (2015)
  • College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, University of Kentucky (2013)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Center for Biomedical Engineering, University of Kentucky (2011, 2013)

Recent Publications

  • Venkatesan, N., Liyanage, A.D.T., Castro-Núñez, J. Asafo-Adjei, T., Dziubla, T.D., Cunningham, L.C., and Puleo, D.A. (2019).  Biodegradable polymerized simvastatin stimulates bone formation Acta Biomater. 93:192-199. 

  • Brown, M.E., Zou, Y. Peyyala, R. Exposto, C. Cunningham, L.L., Milbrandt, T.A., Huja, S., Dziubla, T.D., and Puleo, D.A. (2018).  Testing of a bioactive, moldable bone graft substitute in an infected, critically-sized segmental defect model, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part B 106B: 1878-1886. 

  • Jennings, C.L., Perry, E.K., Dziubla, T.D., and Puleo, D.A. (2017).  Sequential release of multiple drugs from flexible drug delivery films, Int. J. Polym. Mater. Polym. Biomater. 66(11):569-76. 

  • Zou, Y., Fisher, P.D., Horstmann, J.K., Talwalkar, V., Milbrandt, T.A., and Puleo, D.A. (2015).  Synergistic local drug delivery in a pig model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, J. Pediatr. Orthop. B 24:483-92. 

  • Fisher, P.D., Venugopal, G., Milbrandt, T.A., Hilt, J.Z., and Puleo, D.A. (2015).  Hydroxyapatite-reinforced in situ forming PLGA systems for intraosseous injection, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part A 103A:2365-2373. 

  • Clark, A., Milbrandt, T.M., Hilt, J.Z., and Puleo, D.A. (2015).  Treating proximal tibial growth plate injuries using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds, BioRes. Open Access 4(1):65-74, DOI: 10.1089/biores.2014.0034. 

  • Ramineni, S.K., Dziubla, T.D., Cunningham, Jr., L.L, and Puleo, D.A. (2014).  Local delivery of imiquimod in hamsters using mucoadhesive films and their residence time in human subjects, Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. 118:665-73. 

  • Asafo-Adjei, T.A., Dziubla, T.D., and Puleo, D.A. (2014).  Synthesis and characterization of a poly(ethylene glycol)-polysimvastatin diblock copolymer, RSC Adv. 4:58287–98. 

  • Hawkins, A.M., Milbrandt, T.A., Puleo, D.A., and Hilt, J.Z. (2014).  Composite hydrogel scaffolds with controlled pore opening via biodegradable hydrogel porogen degradation, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part A 102:400-12.