By Mark Dwortzan
Peace Islands Institute (PII), a northeastern-US-based think tank promoting education, friendship and harmony among peoples of diverse backgrounds, has named Associate Professor Muhammad Zaman (BME, MSE) as the recipient of its 2013 Global Education Award.
PII selected Zaman for the award in recognition of “his research on developing computational and experimental tools to improve the quality of life, education and the practice of medicine in the developing world,” said Burhan Kaya, director of PII’s Center for Global Affairs.
The organization will present the award to Zaman at its fifth annual Friendship & Awards Dinner on November 13 at Four Seasons Boston Hotel.
“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to receive this award, which reflects a collective effort of my students, researchers and colleagues around the world,” said Zaman. “I am deeply grateful to the Peace Island Institute for recognizing our work in global education and our efforts to improve access and the quality of learning and instruction in some of the most impoverished parts of the world.”
Last year’s recipients of PII awards include Sherman Teichman, founding director or the Institute for Global Leadership (Global Education Award); Michael Rich, MD, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital (Media Award); and Congressman Bill Keating (Legislative Award).
A BU faculty member since 2009, Zaman heads the Cellular and Molecular Dynamics Lab, which engineers new experimental and computational technologies for major healthcare problems in both the developing and developed world, including probing the mechanisms of cancer metastasis. Meanwhile, Zaman is developing robust, cheap, portable and user-friendly diagnostics and analysis toolkits to address global health challenges.
As director of the Laboratory for Engineering Education and Development (LEED), he works with BU students to advance technologies to detect counterfeit drugs, preserve biological reagents used in diagnostic tests and provide other in-demand healthcare solutions targeting the specific needs of resource-limited countries. He is also co-director of the Africa Biomedical Engineering Initiative, which was funded by UN Economic Commission for Africa to improve biomedical engineering education, innovation and practice in Africa.
Zaman’s achievements in cancer and global health research have earned him funding from USAID, the Saving Lives at Birth Consortium, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and many private foundations, as well as several invitations to participate in U.S. National Academy of Engineering research and education symposia. Zaman has also served as keynote or plenary speaker at major national and international conferences and published dozens of highly-cited papers in leading biomedical journals.