Zhang, Damiano, Shinn-Cunningham Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

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By Sara Elizabeth Cody

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Prof. Xin Zhang (ME, MSE), Prof. Edward Damiano (BME) and Prof. Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (BME)

Prof. Xin Zhang (ME, MSE), Prof. Edward Damiano (BME) and Prof. Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (BME) have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country, including engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs. Zhang, Damiano and Shinn-Cunningham were nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College.

A faculty member since 2002, Zhang leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS or micro/nanosystems), from their fundamental materials and mechanics aspects to their application to real world applications. Her research group—the Laboratory for Microsystems Technology—seeks to understand and exploit fundamental and interesting characteristics of micro/nanomaterials, micro/nanomechanics, and micro/nanomanufacturing technologies with forward-looking engineering efforts and practical applications ranging from energy to health care to homeland security. Zhang was elected to the College of Fellows for pioneering contributions in expanding the toolset for measuring cellular behavior through the development of optomechanical and impedance-based sensing platforms.

This is Zhang’s third election to fellow status in a major professional organization in the past year. In the spring of 2015, she was elected as a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in recognition of her interdisciplinary MEMS research. Last fall, she was elected as a Fellow of the Optical Society for her for outstanding achievement and contribution in terahertz metamaterials, biophotonics and energy-using microelectromechanical systems.

Damiano, a faculty member since 2004, is a professor whose lab is engaged in basic scientific research that combines mathematical modeling, computational analysis, and experimental investigations across length scales ranging from macromolecular assemblies, cellular mechanics, and microscale biofluidics to cardiovascular fluid mechanics and the biomechanics of vestibular sensory systems. Their microvascular research activities integrate fluid dynamics with intravital microscopy to study blood flow in the microcirculation and to elucidate mechanisms by which the lining of blood vessels determines vascular health and disease.

His current work is focused on creating an artificial “bionic” pancreas that automatically regulates blood glucose in Type 1 diabetes. Damiano was elected to the College of Fellows for his fundamental contributions in our understanding of microcirculation, and for designing, building, and testing a wearable bionic pancreas.

A faculty member since 1997, Shinn-Cunningham was elected to AIMBE for outstanding contributions to auditory neuroscience, especially information processing in auditory attention and spatial hearing. In addition to being a professor of biomedical engineering, she is director of the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology (CompNet), an interdisciplinary research center at BU that fosters collaborative research and education on mechanisms of neural computation and their applications. She also is director and principal investigator of CELEST, a National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center that seeks to understand brain mechanisms responsible for learning in real-world situations and to translate this knowledge into intelligent technologies.

Shinn-Cunningham is an auditory neuroscientist known for her work on attention and the cocktail party problem, sound localization, and the effects of room acoustics and reverberation on hearing. She also collaborates with researchers conducting functional magnetic resonance imaging and neurophysiology.

Zhang, Damiano, and Shinn-Cunningham will be formally inducted into the College of Fellows during AIMBE’s 25th Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, DC in April. Since 1991, AIMBE’s College of Fellows has lead the way for technological growth and advancement in the fields of medical and biological engineering.