Trio Tapped to Join AIMBE College of Fellows

Prestigious honor for top biomedical engineers

For the second year in a row, three ENG faculty members have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). This time, the honorees are Professor James Galagan (BME, Microbiology), Associate Professor Xue Han (BME), and Professor Dimitrije Stamenovic (BME, MSE).

“Being elected as an AIMBE Fellow is one of the highest honors in our profession, reserved for the top two percent of practitioners in industry and academics,” says Professor and BME Chair John White. “Dimitrije, James, and Xue are richly deserving of this honor. All three are highly respected for their research and leadership in our community.”

The mission of AIMBE is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering to advance society. Galagan, Han, and Stamenovic are among 152 members of the AIMBE Fellow Class of 2022. All were nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the AIMBE College of Fellows.

James Galagan (BME, Microbiology). Photo by Melissa Ostrow for BU Photography

Galagan was selected on the basis of the advances he has made in computational biology to understand the molecular basis of infectious diseases and in novel biosensors for physiological monitoring. Galagan leads an interdisciplinary lab at the intersection of genomics, molecular biology, computational biology, electrical engineering, and technology development. His team develops computational and high-throughput experimental methods to study the systems biology of microbial organisms and translate the resulting knowledge into biomedical applications such as biosensors and wearables.

A Distinguished Faculty Fellow and a past winner of the Dean’s Catalyst Award, Galagan has served as the associate director for systems biology at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and as the director of the BU Illumina Sequencing Core Facility. He is currently the associate director for the Precision Diagnostics Center.

Xue Han (BME). Photo by Ciara Crocker for BU Photography

A pioneer in optogenetics, Han was selected for inventing and applying high-impact molecular technologies to optically probe brain dynamics underlying behavior and pathology. Using pulses of light to control and observe the behavior of different neurons, she has discovered new types of brain signals. Her ultimate goal is to design the next generation of neuromodulation therapies for brain disorders.

With colleagues, Han has earned a Dean’s Catalyst Award and two National Science Foundation grants aimed at leveraging strides in biomedicine and machine learning to advance knowledge of how the brain works. She has also garnered the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, among other honors.

Han is also affiliated with BU’s Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering as well as the Photonics Center, the Systems Neuroscience Center, and the Nanotechnology Innovation Center.

Dimitrije Stamenovic (BME, MSE).

Stamenovic was selected for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of fundamental multi-scale structure-function relations in the field of biomechanics of tissues and cells. His research focuses on how the physical properties of cytoskeletal biopolymers, cytoskeletal architecture, and mechanical forces borne by the cytoskeleton influence mechanical behaviors of cells and their responses to mechanical signals from their microenvironment. He helped to design and develop a light pneumatic knee brace capable of ameliorating symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

A past winner of the BME department’s Teacher of the Year Award, Stamenovic has authored eight book chapters and more than 90 frequently cited journal articles. He is also a member of the American Physiological Society, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Biophysical Society.

“From a departmental and college perspective, this is the second year in a row that three of our faculty have received this honor, bringing our total to 38 AIMBE Fellows,” says White, the BME chair. “This is an astounding number, indicative of the high regard in which our faculty are held by our peers.”

The new fellows will be formally inducted into the prestigious body during AIMBE’s annual meeting, held virtually on March 25.