Don Ingber and Jim Collins honored for their contributions to the nation's health
BOSTON — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announces today that two of its core faculty members, Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., and James Collins, Ph.D., have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, which is one of the highest honors in the field of medicine in the United States.
The IOM is an organization with more than 1,700 members and foreign associates that recognizes individuals who have made seminal contributions to medicine, healthcare and public health. Its members serve on committees and boards that advise government agencies, policy makers and professionals on healthcare issues. Ingber and Collins join 70 new members and ten foreign associates elected this year.
Ingber is being honored for his broad contributions to the field of Biologically Inspired Engineering, and his pioneering interdisciplinary work in mechanobiology, angiogenesis and cell structure. Ingber is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute, Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He also leads the Biomimetic Microsystems Platform at the Wyss Institute that engineers human "organs-on-chips" as replacements for animal testing in drug development and toxin testing.
"It’s an enormous honor to be inducted as a member in this illustrious organization of our nation’s leading physicians and medical researchers- and to be able to do so with my friend and fellow colleague Jim Collins makes it extra-special, not only for me, but the entire Wyss community," says Ingber.
Collins helped to found the burgeoning field of Synthetic Biology, and has made seminal discoveries regarding the actions of antibiotics and the emergence of resistance. He holds the William F. Warren Distinguished Professorship at Boston University, where he is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator as well as the co-director and co-founder of the Center for BioDynamics. Collins also leads the Anticipatory Medical & Biomolecular Devices Platform at the Wyss Institute, which builds medical and biomolecular devices designed to sense the breakdown of natural body rhythms, restore lost functions, and intervene automatically before life-threatening events occur.
"The Wyss is breaking down the walls between biology and engineering in ways that are incredibly exciting for human health," says Jeffrey Flier, dean of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. "It’s thrilling to see such pioneering work acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine."
Ingber and Collins will be formally welcomed to the IOM at next year’s annual meeting in October 2013.