Engineering Diversity

Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.

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
  • Co-Director – Atlantic 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.