By Mark Dwortzan
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has elected two BME faculty members—Associate Professors Muhammad Zaman (BME, MSE) and Elise Morgan (ME, BME, MSE)—to the AIMBE College of Fellows. They join more than 1,500 outstanding biomedical engineers in academia, industry and government around the world who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions in research, industrial practice and/or education.
According to the AIMBE, election to the College of Fellows is reserved for the top two percent of the
international medical and biological engineering community. The induction of Zaman and Morgan on March 16 at the AIMBE’s 2015 Annual Event at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., will bring the number of BME faculty elected to this prestigious body to 30, placing the
department among the top two or three biomedical engineering departments nationally.
AIMBE Fellows have helped to revolutionize medicine, engineering and related fields that enhance and extend the lives of people all over the world. Boston University’s two newest members exemplify this tradition, having impacted society in myriad ways.
Associate Professor Muhammad Zaman
A College of Engineering faculty member since 2009 and the College’s only Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor, 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. The lab focuses on how physical and mechanical properties of cancer cells impact their growth and movement, modeling this behavior in computer programs.
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. In 2014 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities of Global Health (CUGH), the most prestigious professional organization in the field
Zaman’s achievements in cancer and global health research have earned him funding from USAID, the Saving Lives at Birth Consortium, US Pharmacopeial Convention, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and many private foundations, as well as several invitations to participate in US National Academy of Engineering research and education symposia. The 2013 recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS)—the world’s largest international society of biomedical engineers—Zaman has served as keynote or plenary speaker at major national and international conferences and published dozens of highly-cited papers in leading biomedical journals.
Associate Professor Elise Morgan
Since joining the College of Engineering faculty in 2003, Associate Professor Elise Morgan (ME, BME) has worked to advance understanding of the role of the mechanical function of tissues and organs in skeletal health, repair and development, with the ultimate goal of pinpointing causes and treatments for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and poor bone healing.
As director of the Orthopaedic and Developmental Biomechanics Laboratory, Morgan studies the interplay among the mechanical behavior, structure and biological function of tissues. Drawing on methods from engineering mechanics, materials science, and cell and molecular biology, and combining experimentation and computational modeling, Morgan’s lab investigates how mechanical factors contribute to the development, adaptation, failure and regeneration of bone and cartilage. Current projects include the use of mechanical stimulation to promote bone regeneration, the biomechanics of spine fractures and bone healing, non-invasive diagnostics of bone healing, and inflammatory bone loss. This work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, private foundations and industry sponsors.
Morgan has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Senior Fellows from the National Institutes of Health, a Young Investigator Research Award from the International Osteoporosis Foundation and Servier Research Group, the 2013 Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and an Early Career Research Excellence Award and Distinguished Faculty Fellow Award from the College of Engineering. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in major engineering journals and has delivered more than 40 seminars and invited talks. She is also the co-founder of a successful outreach program, Summer Pathways, which engages high school girls in a week-long sequence of activities in science, engineering and math.
The mission of the AIMBE is to advance public understanding of medical and biological engineering, and honor significant achievements in the field. Representing university programs in medical and biological engineering, corporations and professional societies engaged in advancing medical and biological engineering, the organization advocates for public policies that facilitate progress in medical and biological research, and for the development of products and services that benefit the public.