Four Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious, 239-year old honorary society that recognizes accomplished scholars, scientists and artists in academia, the humanities, arts, business, and government. A bit like Berkeley Lab itself, the Academy also serves as a nonpartisan research center focused on addressing the nation’s greatest scientific and social problems through cross-disciplinary collaboration of its expert members.
Claire Tomlin, biological faculty engineer, Biological Systems and Engineering Division, and a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley. Her research, which is currently conducted primarily at UC Berkeley, explores hybrid systems: complex systems which have discrete event dynamics as well as continuous time dynamics. Her group studies many topics and problems that can be modeled by hybrid systems as well as more general robotics, such as air traffic control automation, algorithms for decentralized optimization, modeling and analysis of biological cell networks, and unmanned aerial vehicle design and control.
Biomedical engineer Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD, University Professor, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
In her laboratory at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Vunjak-Novakovic creates new ways to engineer human tissues that could repair damaged organs, help scientists study development and disease, and provide faster methods for testing new drugs..
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced today that CU Boulder Professor Kristi Anseth has been elected to its 2019 class. Anseth is among more than 200 individuals selected this year for their exceptional achievements in the arts and sciences, business, philanthropy and the public sector.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an honorary society that recognizes and convenes leaders from a variety of disciplines to address critical issues facing the nation and the world. The academy’s projects and publications inform public policy for the benefit of all.
Two UConn professors, Dr. Cato Laurencin and physics professor Nora Berrah, have been elected as members to the historic and prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, more than 200 individuals were elected to the academy with compelling achievements in academia, business, government, and public affairs.
“One of the reasons to honor extraordinary achievement is because the pursuit of excellence is so often accompanied by disappointment and self-doubt,” said David Oxtoby, president of the academy. “We are pleased to recognize the excellence of our new members, celebrate their compelling accomplishments, and invite them to join the Academy and contribute to its work.”
Columbia engineers and neuroscientists have joined forces to create 3D videos of individual nerve cells moving, stretching and switching on inside fruit fly larvae as they move. Data gleaned from these videos reveals how nerve cells called proprioceptive neurons work together to help the body sense where it is in space. To accomplish this feat, the researchers harnessed SCAPE, a cutting-edge microscope developed at Columbia that images neurons at lightning-fast speeds.
These findings, published today in Current Biology, illustrate SCAPE’s ability to reveal the inner workings of the nervous system in unprecedented detail. By creating 3D, live action images of nerve cells in larvae as the animals crawled, SCAPE allowed the researchers to see exactly how those cells along the body wall reported movements back to the brain.
Many types of cancer could be more easily treated if they were detected at an earlier stage. MIT researchers have now developed an imaging system, named “DOLPHIN,” which could enable them to find tiny tumors, as small as a couple of hundred cells, deep within the body.
In a new study, the researchers used their imaging system, which relies on near-infrared light, to track a 0.1-millimeter fluorescent probe through the digestive tract of a living mouse. They also showed that they can detect a signal to a tissue depth of 8 centimeters, far deeper than any existing biomedical optical imaging technique.
Novel therapies based on a process known as RNA interference (RNAi) hold great promise for treating a variety of diseases by blocking specific genes in a patient’s cells. Many of the earliest RNAi treatments have focused on diseases of the liver, because RNA-carrying particles tend to accumulate in that organ.
MIT researchers have now shown that an engineered model of human liver tissue can be used to investigate the effects of RNAi, helping to speed up the development of such treatments. In a paper appearing in the journal Cell Metabolism on March 5, the researchers showed with the model that they could use RNAi to turn off a gene that causes a rare hereditary disorder. And using RNA molecules that target a different gene expressed by human liver cells, they were able to reduce malaria infections in the model’s cells.
Texas ChE Professor Jennifer Maynard and her research team have engineered “antibody-like” T cell receptors that can specifically stick to cells infected with cytomegalovirus, or CMV, a virus that causes lifelong infection in more than half of all adults by age 40. These receptors represent a new potential treatment option, could aid the development of CMV vaccines and might also be used to target brain tumors.
Some professors shine most brightly in the lab. Others are particularly excellent mentors, inspiring students and other faculty members to reach new heights in their careers. Then, there are those who excel at both.
Dawn Elliott, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware, is being recognized as one of those multitalented academics. Elliott, a Blue and Gold Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is the inaugural recipient of the Orthopaedic Research Society’s Adele L. Boskey, PhD Award.
Tejal Desai Named Director of UCSF Health Innovation Via Engineering Program
A new initiative at UC San Francisco will bring together engineers to tackle some of the most urgent challenges in health.
The Health Innovation Via Engineering (HIVE) program will be led by Tejal Desai, PhD, the chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
To accelerate the development of an inclusive culture in biomedical engineering (BME), we must accept complexity, seek to understand our own privilege, speak out about diversity, learn the difference between intent and impact, accept our mistakes, and learn how to engage in difficult conversations. In turn, we will be rewarded by the ideas, designs, devices and discoveries of a new generation of problem solvers and thought leaders who bring diverse experiences and perspectives.
Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, founding director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut, is the winner of the 2019 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
An eminent biomedical engineer and orthopedic surgeon, Laurencin is being honored for his unique contributions to the advancement of science. The Abelson Prize recognizes his global leadership in biomedical technology innovation, public service in shaping United States technology policy and invaluable mentorship to a generation of minority scientists.
Carnegie Mellon University will award the Dickson Prize in Science to Dr. Emery N. Brown, an esteemed anesthesiologist, neuroscientist and statistician. He is the Edward Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology , the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and a practicing anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Rachel Karchin, PhD, is a professor of biomedical engineering, oncology, and computer science, with joint appointments at the Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is a core member of the Institute for Computational Medicine.
A computational biologist, Dr. Karchin develops algorithms and software to analyze genomic data and interpret its impact on human disease. Her most recent work has focused on cancer and the effects of germline and somatic alterations and their contributions to progression models of tumor evolution. She led the computational efforts to identify driver mutations for the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center’s pioneering cancer sequencing projects, and she co-led The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) PanCancer Atlas Essential Genes and Drivers Analysis Working Group.
Flexible, wireless electronic devices are rapidly emerging and have reached the level of commercialization; nevertheless, most of battery shapes are limited to either spherical and/or rectangular structures, which results in inefficient space use. Professor Il-Doo Kim’s team from the Department of Materials Science at KAIST has successfully developed technology to significantly enhance the variability of battery design through collaboration research with Professor Jennifer A. Lewis and her team from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.
Most of the battery shapes today are optimized for coin cell and/or pouch cells. Since the battery as an energy storage device occupies most of the space in microelectronic devices with different designs, new technology to freely change the shape of the battery is required.
Ten years after Professor of Biomedical Engineering Anita Mahadevan-Jansen discovered that parathyroid tissues glow under near-infrared light, the FDA has approved a device based on the technology for surgical use.
She and her team developed the technology at the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center. The device called “PTeye” has been tested at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Ohio State University Medical Center in an 81-patient clinical study, leading to regulatory approval. It enables real-time identification of parathyroid tissue during thyroid and parathyroid surgeries.
The placenta offers an abundant source of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs), which a new study has shown can readily form cell sheets that could be implanted in children with congenital heart defects and offer benefits for heart repair and regeneration compared to commonly used synthetic material-based scaffolds. Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of birth-defect-related illness and death. The placenta can be readily collected at birth and the cells harvested for pediatric reparative procedures, as described in the study published in Tissue Engineering, Part A, peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Tissue Engineering website through January 7, 2019.
Sitaram Emani, MD, Breanna Piekarski, RN, and Sirisha Emani, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA and Erin Roberts, Kevin Huang, and Joyce Wong, PhD, Boston University, MA are the coauthors of the article entitled “Evaluation of Placental Mesenchymal Stem Cell Sheets for Myocardial Repair and Regeneration .” In the study, the researchers evaluated MSCs independent of their source, demonstrated their ability to form cell sheets, and described other beneficial effects related to paracrine section and cell-cell interactions at the site of MSC implantation. The ability of MSCs to secrete factors to induce cardioprotection, stimulate angiogenesis, and promote migration, proliferation and differentiation of local cardiac stem cells can all affect tissue repair.
JenaValve Technology, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of differentiated transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) systems, today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of expansion of its Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) feasibility studies for the JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System with the Everdur™ transcatheter heart valve (THV) and Coronatix TM Transfemoral Delivery Catheter. The approval expands eligible patient enrollment from 20 patients at extreme or high surgical risk (10 aortic stenosis [AS], 10 aortic regurgitation [AR]) to 80 patients at extreme or high surgical risk (40 AS, 40 AR) at up to 10 U.S. sites.
The prospective IDE studies are part of a larger, ongoing CE Mark clinical program investigating the JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System for the same indications at centers of excellence in Europe and New Zealand.
Pneumonia, a respiratory disease that kills about 50,000 people in the United States every year, can be caused by many different microbes, including bacteria and viruses. Rapid detection of pneumonia is critical for effective treatment, especially in hospital-acquired cases which are often more severe. However, current diagnostic approaches often take several days to return definitive results, making it harder for doctors to prescribe the right treatment.
MIT researchers have now developed a nanoparticle-based technology that could be used to improve the speed of diagnosis. This type of sensor could also be used to monitor whether antibiotic therapy has successfully treated the infection, says Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the senior author of the study.
Osteoarthritis, a disease that causes severe joint pain, affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Some drug treatments can help alleviate the pain, but there are no treatments that can reverse or slow the cartilage breakdown associated with the disease.
In an advance that could improve the treatment options available for osteoarthritis, MIT engineers have designed a new material that can administer drugs directly to the cartilage. The material can penetrate deep into the cartilage, delivering drugs that could potentially heal damaged tissue.
Dr. Anthony Guiseppi-Elie has been named associate dean of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M University. He is currently a TEES Research Professor and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
EnMed is Texas A&M University’s innovative engineering medicine school option at Houston Methodist Hospital, developed to educate a new kind of physician to create transformational technology for health care.
Quantitative analysis improves breast cancer screening, according to four abstracts at the 104th Annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting, November 25–30, 2018. The investigators all used Volpara Solutions’ breast imaging analysis tools, including assessment of volumetric density and compression pressure, in their research.
In the study “Using Quantitative Breast Density Analysis to Predict Interval Cancers and Node Positive Cancers in Pursuit of Improved Screening Protocols,” (SSE01-03, Monday, November 26, 3:20–3:30 PM, Room: E451B), Elizabeth Burnside, MD, and colleagues investigated whether quantitative breast density can predict interval cancers and node-positive, screen-detected cancers in order to serve as a biomarker to consider more aggressive screening to improve early detection. The study involved 599 cases of screen-detected cancers and interval cancers and 605 controls from the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme. For each case, breast density was assessed by a radiologist using a visual analog scale (VAS) and BI-RADS 5th Edition density categories and using fully automated Volpara®Density™ software to calculate fibroglandular volume (FGV) and Volpara Density Grade (VDG®).
Martine LaBerge of Clemson University is one of the newest Fellows in the Biomedical Engineering Society, an honor recognizing her for exceptional achievements and experience in biomedical engineering.
LaBerge is chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson and executive director of the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus, or CUBEInC, in Greenville.
Northwestern Engineering’s Guillermo Ameer, a pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering, was presented the Key to Panama City, Panama, by Vice Mayor Raisa Banfield last week. The event was covered by Telemetro, a national Spanish-language television network based in Panama City.
Ameer, the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering with the McCormick School of Engineering, was in his hometown to attend at APANAC 2018, the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, the nation’s premier science conference. He also serves as a professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and he is the director of the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE).
Cynthia A. Reinhart-King, a nationally recognized cellular bioengineer, is the inaugural recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Mid-Career Award. Reinhart-King delivered the award lecture Saturday, Oct. 20, at the BMES 2018 Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
Reinhart-King received the 2010 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award and she is the only person to have received two of three major awards from the BMES.
MIT researchers have developed a cryptographic system that could help neural networks identify promising drug candidates in massive pharmacological datasets, while keeping the data private. Secure computation done at such a massive scale could enable broad pooling of sensitive pharmacological data for predictive drug discovery.
Datasets of drug-target interactions (DTI), which show whether candidate compounds act on target proteins, are critical in helping researchers develop new medications. Models can be trained to crunch datasets of known DTIs and then, using that information, find novel drug candidates.
Gilda A. Barabino is Dean and Berg Professor at The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She has appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education / CUNY School of Medicine. Prior to joining CCNY, she served as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory. At Georgia Tech she also served as the inaugural Vice Provost for Academic Diversity. Prior to her appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory, she rose to the rank of Full Professor of Chemical Engineering and served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Northeastern University. She is a noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering. She consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development and faculty development.
Dr. Barabino received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). She was the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 2012-2014. She has an extensive record of leadership and service in the chemical and biomedical engineering communities. She is the Immediate Past-President of BMES and is the President-Elect of AIMBE. Dr. Barabino has over a decade of experience in leading NSF initiatives for women and minority faculty and is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.
PhD in Chemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX
BS in Chemistry, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA
Barabino Laboratory on Vascular and Orthopedic Tissue Engineering Research is primarily focused on cellular and tissue responses to fluid mechanical forces in the context of vascular disease and orthopedic tissue engineering. We concentrate on the characterization and quantification of mechanical and biochemical cues that influence tissue growth and disease progression. Our interdisciplinary work incorporates biology, materials science and engineering toward novel therapeutic strategies to improve the health of individuals suffering with sickle cell disease and those suffering with diseases associated with damaged cartilage and bone. To that end, we employ innovative engineering technologies to create models that recapitulate the environment within the body in order to better understand the pathophysiology of disease and the most appropriate strategies for treatment. We also employ complementary animal models to bridge translation of our findings to human clinical practice.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
SCD is a genetic disorder affecting 70,000 Americans and millions globally that induces chronic inflammation and vascular dysfunction and causes multiple organ damage as a result. The pathophysiology of SCD is quite complex and involves altered interactions between blood cells and endothelial cells lining the vessel walls, altered mechanical properties of blood, blood cells and blood vessels and altered tissue properties in affected organs. We apply innovative engineering approaches and technologies to better understand conditions that contribute to vaso-occlusion, a hallmark of the disease, and the relationship between inflammation, vascular remodeling and vascular biomechanical abnormalities. Results from these studies will enable the development of new therapies and provide clinicians with therapeutic opportunities for improved management of individuals with SCD.
Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Articular cartilage injury is a major cause of decreased mobility and pain and can lead to osteoarthritis, a debilitating disease characterized by progressive erosion of cartilage tissues. Once injured or damaged due to disease, cartilage has limited ability for regeneration and self-repair due to its avascular nature. Tissue engineering approaches combining cells, bioactive molecules and biodegradable scaffolds in defined environments that support the regeneration of functional cartilage tissues hold promise. Bioreactors are used to provide defined environments and we have developed and employed novel bioreactor systems that impart fluid flow-induced shear forces to better understand how environmental factors regulate tissue growth toward the development of optimally designed and clinically relevant engineered tissues.
Some people may follow a football team, others may follow their favorite television streaming series. For Ellen Kuhl, PhD, a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford, her passion lies in following proteins.
In a recent Stanford news article, Kuhl explains how her team developed a computer simulation to track the spread of defective proteins in the brain. These proteins contribute to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Glympse Bio has developed sensor technology that it says can give clinicians an early look at a developing disease. As Glympse prepares to test its disease detection approach in a serious liver disorder, the startup has raised $22 million in Series A financing.
LS Polaris Innovation Fund and Arch Venture Partners co-led the investment in Cambridge, MA-based Glympse.
The startup has developed bioengineered nanoparticles that circulate through the body, detect disease, and report their findings through a signal read by testing the patient’s urine. The company, which spun out from the laboratory of MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia, says its “activity sensors” can test for multiple indicators of disease, such as cancer, fibrosis, immune disorders, and infectious disease. Glympse also says its technology can monitor how a patient’s disease is responding to a drug.
People sometimes mistakenly think of general anesthesia as just a really deep sleep, but in fact, anesthesia is really four brain states — unconsciousness, amnesia, immobility, and suppression of the body’s damage sensing response, or “nociception.” In a new paper in Anesthesia and Analgesia, MIT neuroscientist and statistician Emery N. Brown and his colleagues argue that by putting nociception at the top of the priority list and taking a principled neuroscientific approach to choosing which drugs to administer, anesthesiologists can use far less medication overall, producing substantial benefits for patients.
“We’ve come up with strategies that allow us to dose the same drugs that are generally used but in different proportions that allow us to achieve an anesthetic state that is much more desirable,” says Brown, the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT and a practicing anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Two years ago on Halloween, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D., a professor of bioengineering at Rice University, walked into her lab and stopped abruptly. Staring back at her was a crowd of familiar characters.
Her students, who wear costumes for the holiday every year, had conspired to go as different versions of their mentor. There was the mother-of-six Rebecca, the saving-dying-babies-in-Africa Rebecca, the marathon-runner Rebecca, even the Albert-Einstein Rebecca—a nod to the $625,000 fellowship Richards-Kortum received from the MacArthur Foundation. Commonly known as a “genius grant,” the stipend is paid out over five years to support visionaries in their creative pursuits for the benefit of humanity…
Dr. Guillermo Ameer, Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery at Northwestern University, is creating a set of high-tech tools to manage diverse medical conditions. Dr. Ameer directs the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE) which integrates and supports research, technology development, and clinical expertise to improve the outcome of tissue and organ repair and regeneration for adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Ameer’s lab develops biomaterials and nanotechnology for regenerative engineering, tissue engineering, medical devices, drug delivery, and cell delivery applications. In the lab, projects driving the creation and engineering of novel biomaterials to target and treat vascular, endocrine, and bone pathophysiologies are on deck. Dr. Ameer has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications and conference abstracts, several book chapters, and multiple patents issued and pending (>35). He has founded 3 companies: ProSorp Biotech, VesselTek Biomedical and Citrics Biomedical.
I was driven out of science by a harasser in the 1980s.”
Coming from a woman who has since helped to found a scientific society, served as director of the Genetics Society of America and presented her research on sexual harassment to a 2018 National Academies panel, it is a surprising statement. But Sherry Marts left academia after finishing her Ph.D. at Duke and never went back.
2018 has been a banner year for confronting sexual harassment in science. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report on the high prevalence of harassment of women in science, and the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation are updating their sexual harassment policies. It appears that science might be catching up with the #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment. However, critics say that large institutions are moving too incrementally and could do much more.
Treena Livingston Arinzeh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has earned national recognition for her commitment to making adult stem cell therapy a future reality. Her research interests are in stem cell tissue engineering and applied biomaterials, with a focus in the development of functional biomaterials that can accelerate repair utilizing stem cells and other cell types. She develops biomaterial strategies for the repair of bone, cartilage and other related musculoskeletal tissues. Her research interests also include nerve tissue regeneration, specifically spinal cord. In fall 2004, President Bush awarded Arinzeh the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest national honor that a young researcher can receive. In 2003, the National Science Foundation also gave Arinzeh its highest honor–a Faculty Early Career Development award that included a $400,000 research grant. Arinzeh’s most cited work to date, in a paper in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, demonstrated that adult stem cells taken from one person could be implanted in another without being rejected. It was among the most significant findings in stem cell research in the past few years.
Gilda Barabino would become the first African American student admitted to Rice University to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering – a daunting and pioneering solo status, one of many firsts for Barabino, that didn’t stop her from following her dream of becoming a biomedical engineer. Gilda Barabino is the Dean of the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She is a noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering. She consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development and faculty development. She is a Past-President of BMES and AIMBE. Dr. Barabino has over a decade of experience in leading NSF initiatives for women and minority faculty and is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.
In the last decade, researchers in academia and the technology sector have been racing to unlock the potential of artificial intelligence. In parallel with federally-funded efforts from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, heavy-hitters such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google are deeply invested in artificial intelligence.
As part of the BRAIN Initiative, many University of California, Davis investigators across campus are studying the nervous system and developing new technologies to investigate brain function.
Reverse-engineering the brain is a central tenet to reproducing human intelligence. However, experts say, most efforts to design artificial brains haven’t involved giving much attention to real ones. By understanding how our brains work, we can leverage artificial intelligence to test new drug therapies for brain disorders, and one day even circumvent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease…
Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., dean of VCU’s School of Engineering, is an acclaimed researcher and entrepreneur. Her laboratory focuses on research related to all aspects of bone and cartilage biology, and she is recognized internationally by peers as an expert in musculoskeletal tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and cell and tissue interactions with biomaterials. Dean Boyan is inventor on 22 U.S. and multiple international patents. Her inventions focus on innovative ways to treat musculoskeletal defects by harnessing the body’s own regenerative potential. Notable examples include a micro-nanoscale surface technology for dental and spine implants, as well as a biodegradable implant for regenerating bone and cartilage.
Dean Boyan is committed to advancing scholarship in science and engineering. She has been an invited lecturer in over 15 countries and, on average, participates in the scientific programs of 20 conferences each year. Dean Boyan is author of more than 460 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters. She has mentored over 30 doctoral and 50 master’s students. Her research, leadership and mentorship have earned her honors and appointments from numerous organizations, including:
Fellow – American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
Fellow – American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Fellow – National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
Member – National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
Fellow – World Congress of Biomaterials
Founding Director – Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium
National Materials Advisory Board Member – National Research Council of the National Academies
Appointment – National Materials Advisory Board
Past Chair – Orthopaedic Device Panel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Past President – American Association of Dental Research
National Research Council Birnberg Award–Columbia University School of Dentistry
Dean Boyan is strongly committed to entrepreneurship and the translation of discoveries to industrial applications. She is the co-founder of four companies:
SpherIngenics, Inc., (cell-based therapies) as Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Orthonics, Inc., (medical devices) as Chief Scientific Officer
OsteoBiologics, Inc., (tissue engineered medical products) as Chairman and CEO, Board of Directors
Biomedical Development Corporation, (innovative medical technologies) Chief Scientific Officer
She also serves on the board of directors for five other companies:
Carticept Medical, Inc., (innovative injection devices) Independent Director, Board of Directors, and Chief Scientific Officer
Cartiva, Inc. (Cartilage repair technologies) Independent Director, Board of Directors, and Chief Scientific Officer
IsoTis, Inc., (Bone graft material) Independent Director, Board of Directors, and Chief Scientific Officer
IsoTis SA, (Bone graft material) Independent Director, Board of Directors
ArthroCare, Inc., (Medical devices) Independent Director, Board of Directors
Previously the associate dean for research and innovation at the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dean Boyan has been involved in research and education since 1974. She received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in biology at Rice University, and is the recipient of many scholarly and national awards. She is an active proponent of collaboration and interdisciplinary studies within the university.
Professor Rena Bizios, a chemical/biomedical engineer by training, is the Lutcher Brown Chair Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. During her career in academia, Professor Bizios has taught various undergraduate and graduate fundamental engineering and biomedical engineering courses as well as developed new courses for biomedical engineering curricula. She has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Her research interests include cellular and tissue engineering, tissue regeneration, biomaterials (including nanostructured ones) and biocompatibility. She has co-authored a textbook (entitled An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions), co-edited a book (Biological Interactions on Material Surfaces: Understanding and Controlling Protein, Cell and Tissue Responses), authored/co-authored scientific publications and book chapters, and is co-inventor of several patents/disclosures. She has given numerous presentations at scientific conferences and invited seminars/lectures in academic institutions and industry. She has also organized and/or co-chaired numerous symposia and sessions at regional/national/international conferences. Professor Bizios is a member and has been an active participant (including elected officer positions) in several professional societies. She is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A and Part B, Technology, Journal of Nano Research, and Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine; she has participated in various national-level review committees, and has served on numerous Departmental, School/College of Engineering and Institute/University committees.
Professor Bizios’ contributions to education and her research accomplishments have been recognized by the: Rensselaer Alumni Association Teaching Award (1997); Clemson Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Literature by the Society for Biomaterials, (1998); Distinguished Scientist Award by the Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology (2009); Women’s Initiatives Mentorship Excellence Award by The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2010); Founders Award by the Society for Biomaterials (2014); Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award by the Biomedical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education (2014); Amber Award, The UTSA Ambassadors, The University of Texas at San Antonio (2014); and by her election as Charter Member of the Academy of Distinguished Researchers, The University of Texas at San Antonio (2015). Professor Bizios is Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), International Union of the Societies for Biomaterials Sciences and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is also member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).