Three Faculty Named AIMBE Fellows

Da Silva, Gratton and Reinkensmeyer were among 157 medical and biomedical engineers inducted into the 2019 College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

March 25, 2019 - Three Samueli School professors are among 157 medical and biological engineers inducted today into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). UC Irvine professors Nancy Da Silva, Enrico Gratton and David Reinkensmeyer joined the College of Fellows class of 2019 at a ceremony held earlier today during the AIMBE Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Election to the College of Fellows is a prestigious professional distinction; fellows, who are recognized for outstanding achievement, represent the top two percent of medical and biological engineers from around the world.

“I’m very excited and honored to become a fellow of AIMBE. This is an important institute committed to advocating for research and education in medical and biological engineering," Da Silva said of receiving the honor. She was recognized for “outstanding contributions to biomolecular engineering, particularly in metabolic pathway engineering, protein synthesis and molecular tool development for yeast.”

Da Silva is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and has a joint appointment in biomedical engineering. She engineers cellular and metabolic pathways in yeast to produce non-protein products, and to control regulation and transport. Applications include the production of pharmaceuticals, biorenewable chemicals and biofuels, and the removal of toxic compounds from water. Another major focus of Da Silva’s lab is the engineering of yeast for protein overexpression and secretion, including the synthesis and characterization of collagen-based biopolymers.

Gratton, professor of biomedical engineering, was elected “for seminal, outstanding contributions to the fields of fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging to study structure and function of biomolecules.” The founder and principal investigator of UCI’s Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics, the country’s only national research center dedicated to fluorescence, Gratton also has joint appointments in physics and astronomy, and surgery.

His research focuses on biomedical fluorescence spectroscopy, including measurements and microscopy; and designing, testing and implementing fluorescence hardware, software and biomedical applications. These techniques can probe the structure and function of biomolecules and membranes, and track biological processes in cell and tissue cultures.

"AIMBE is an amazing organization and I have met amazing people,” says Gratton. “Thank you, AIMBE, for the nomination.”

Reinkensmeyer is a professor of anatomy and neurobiology, who has joint appointments in the departments of mechanical & aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, and physical medicine & rehabilitation.

His research focuses on biomechatronics, the use of intelligent electromechanical systems to diagnose, treat and support human function. He is especially interested in helping the nervous system recover after neurologic injury and helping patients learn to use affected limbs.

AIMBE recognized Reinkensmeyer “for innovative contributions to rehabilitation robotics and neural engineering, and for design of practical devices to enhance patient recovery.”

“It's wonderful to receive this honor in recognition of our medical rehabilitation research over the past 25 years,” Reinkensmeyer said. “ I am especially grateful for the entrepreneurial and supportive environment at UCI, the wonderful students, research staff and faculty collaborators with whom I have a chance to work, as well as the many people with a stroke who volunteered their time in the Biorobotics Laboratory to help advance new rehabilitation technologies.”

AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence, advance public understanding and accelerate medical and biological innovation. Its College of Fellows includes honorees from 30 countries who work in academia, industry, clinical practice and government. They include two Nobel Prize laureates, 17 Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation winners, and 158 inductees into the National Academy of Engineering. Seventy-two AIMBE fellows have been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine and 31 into the National Academy of Sciences.

- Anna Lynn Spitzer

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