Dr. Donald E. Ingber has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). He is Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
"Throughout his career, Dr. Ingber’s research has improved health care on Earth. His expertise and knowledge will be a valuable asset to NSBRI in its mission to protect astronaut health," said Dr. Bobby R. Alford, NSBRI board chairman and chief executive officer.
Ingber has been a leader in cell and tissue engineering research. His efforts have also led to progress in angiogenesis and cancer research, systems biology and nanobiotechnology.
He began his career at Harvard in 1984 as a research fellow in pathology, before becoming a research instructor in 1986. He became a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1999, and in 2004, he was named the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology. In 2008, he was named a professor of bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and appointed Founding Director of the Wyss Institute in 2009.
The Wyss Institute uses Nature’s design principles to create breakthrough technologies that will revolutionize medicine, industry, and the environment. It was launched with a $125-million gift, the largest single philanthropic gift in Harvard’s history.
Ingber also has experience working with the human spaceflight program. He has served as a member of the NASA Specialized Center on Research and Training in Gravitational Biology and a reviewer for the Plan for the International Space Station. He was also a member of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council, National Academies of Science and Engineering, and chairman of its Committee on Space Biology and Medicine.
Throughout his career, Ingber has earned numerous awards and honors. Recently, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for In Vitro Biology, Rous Whipple Award of the American Association of Investigative Pathologists, Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Breast Cancer Innovator Award from the Department of Defense. Esquire magazine named Ingber one of the world’s "Best and Brightest" in 2003.
Ingber is an alumnus of Yale University. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He went on to receive a medical degree, a master’s of philosophy, and a doctorate in cell biology from Yale. NSBRI is a NASA-funded consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight and developing countermeasures to mitigate the risks. The Institute’s science, technology, and education projects take place at more than 60 institutions across the United States.
NSBRI projects address space health concerns, which include bone and muscle loss, cardiovascular changes, radiation exposure, neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors, remote medical care and research, and habitability and performance issues. Research findings also affect the understanding and treatment of similar medical conditions experienced on Earth.