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  • Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Fri, Mar 22, 2024 @ 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

    Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Tejal Desai, Ph.D., The Sorensen Family Dean of Engineering Brown University

    Talk Title: Therapeutic Biomaterials: Engineering Material Structure to Modulate Biologic Delivery

    Abstract: The ability to deliver therapeutics within and across biologic barriers is a much sought after goal.   In this talk, I will discuss our recent work in developing nanostructured materials for biologic delivery as well as injectable micro/nanoscale materials for the reduction of fibrosis and immune activation.  By incorporating micro and nanoscale features into biomaterials, one can modulate properties such as tissue permeability, matrix production, and cell activation.  The understanding of how small-scale topographies can influence the biological microenvironment allows us to design platforms for applications in therapeutic delivery and tissue regeneration. Micro and nanostructured materials can add functionality to current drug delivery platforms while becoming an enabling technology leading to new basic discoveries in the pharmaceutical and biological sciences

    Biography: Tejal A. Desai assumed the role of Sorensen Family Dean of Engineering at Brown University, effective September 1, 2022. An accomplished biomedical engineer and academic leader, Desai’s research spans multiple disciplines including materials engineering, cell biology, tissue engineering, and pharmacological delivery systems to develop new therapeutic interventions for disease. She seeks to design new platforms, enabled by advances in micro and nanotechnology, to overcome challenges in therapeutic delivery. With more than 260 peer-reviewed articles and patents, Desai’s research has earned her numerous recognitions including Technology Review’s Top 100 Young Innovators, Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 and the Dawson Biotechnology Award. She served as president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering from 2020 to 2022 and is a fellow of AIMBE, IAMBE, CRS, and BMES. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, the National Academy of Inventors in 2019, and to the National Academy of Engineering in 2024.  Desai was also awarded the 2023 Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting — the highest honor the organization can bestow upon an individual who has demonstrated impactful leadership and accomplishments in biomedical engineering science and practice. Prior to coming to Brown, she was the Deborah Cowan Endowed Professor of the Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and Professor in Residence, Department of Bioengineering, UC Berkeley (UCB). She served as director of the NIH training grant for the Joint UCSF/UCB Graduate Program in Bioengineering for over 15 years and founding director of the UCSF/UCB Master’s Program in Translational Medicine. She was also chair of the department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF from 2014-2021 and the Inaugural Director of the UCSF Engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative known as HIVE (Health Innovation Via Engineering). A vocal advocate for education and outreach to historically underrepresented groups in STEM, Desai’s work to break down institutional barriers to equity and cultivate a climate of inclusion has earned numerous honors and awards, including the AWIS Judith Poole Award in Mentorship, the 2021 UCSF Chancellors Award for the Advancement of Women, and the 2022 Controlled Release Woman in Science Award. As president of AIMBE (2020-2022), she led advocacy efforts for increased scientific funding and addressing workforce disparities in science/engineering. To foster the next generation of scientists, she was involved in the SF Science Education partnership and has worked with outreach organizations such as the Lawrence Hall of Science, PBS, and the UN Women’s council to develop hand-on exhibits and videos related to nanotechnology and women in engineering.

    Host: Eunji Chung

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 100B

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Carla Stanard


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