Dr. Matthew C. Coombs, post-doctoral fellow – June 28, 2019

July 16, 2019

Dr. Matthew C. Coombs, 32, of Fort Wayne, Ind., died June 28, 2019. Coombs earned a stellar reputation while working as a post-doctoral fellow in the Clemson-MUSC Joint Bioengineering Program. His research was focused on temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

“Matthew proved his capability at every step of his career and was an outstanding research scientist, a natural instructor, mentor and a great team member,” said Dr. Hai Yao, Norville Endowed Chair/professor in the Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program. “I really enjoyed working with Matthew to develop our research strategies and was looking forward to having a long and successful relationship with him.”

Yao, who was Coombs’ supervisor, called him a rising star in dental medicine who entered the program and quickly earned National Institutes of Health awards.

“Matthew was instrumental in the development of my two recently submitted research applications,” said Yao. “Additionally, a presentation of his work at a recent conference was met with an overwhelmingly positive response and we were working towards recruiting him to the MUSC Dental College to pursue an independent research program.”

Coombs’ colleagues also had high praise beyond the research.

“Although, I knew him as an excellent research scientist, it was his qualities as a good person that I most admired,” said Thomas Gallien, project manager for the Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program.

Coombs obtained his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, followed by a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

He is survived by his wife, two young children, family and friends.

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