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Wyss Institute welcomes new Core and Associate Faculty members

New faculty appointments enhance the Institute's diverse expertise in materials, bioengineering, medicine, and human learning and development

(BOSTON) — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has appointed one new Core Faculty member and three new Associate Faculty members. The new faculty members include David Weitz, Ph.D., David Liu, Ph.D., H. Shaw Warren, M.D., and Todd Rose, Ed.D., bringing the Institute’s total number of Core Faculty to 18 and Associate Faculty to 14.

From left to right: David Weitz, Ph.D.; David Liu, Ph.D.; H. Shaw Warren, M.D.; and Todd Rose, Ed.D. Credit: Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS, David Liu, Shaw Warren, Todd Rose

Weitz, who has until now been a Wyss Associate Faculty member, has been promoted to a Core Faculty member at the Institute. Weitz is a materials scientist who focuses on the relationship between structure and material properties at the nanometer to micrometer scales. He also exploits drop-based microfluidics to make new soft materials that have potential applications for encapsulation and release of active ingredients, and several start-up companies have formed based on his work. As a Core Faculty member, Weitz will focus his effort to develop programmable materials for improved drug delivery. Weitz is also the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Harvard Department of Physics, Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Harvard, Co-Director of the BASF Advanced Research Initiative, and a member of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology.

Liu, who is joining the Wyss’ Associate Faculty, integrates chemistry and evolution to illuminate biology and enable novel therapeutics. Liu and his team have developed multiple technologies including DNA-templated synthesis, phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE), and a variety of genome editing methods, to apply the principles that drive biological evolution to the discovery of bioactive synthetic small molecules, synthetic polymers, and proteins. As an Associate Faculty member of the Institute, he will be applying these technologies to develop new, targeted therapeutics. Liu is also Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Warren, who is joining the Wyss’ Associate Faculty, is an infectious disease specialist who focuses on host response to infection and inflammation. Warren is the director of the program SPIRIT (Species-Inspired Research for Innovative Treatments), which seeks to develop animal models that better mimic human inflammation and to uncover novel drug targets that leverage species-specific responses to inflammation. His work at the Institute will center on development of new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies for infectious disease and development modulators of host tolerance to infection. Warren is also an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a practicing physician in Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)’s Infectious Disease Unit.

Rose, who is joining the Wyss’ Associate Faculty, works to understand the factors that influence learning, development, and optimal human performance across education, the workplace, and in sports. Rose is the director of the Mind, Brain and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (GSE) where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual, and Co-Founder of the non-profit Center for Individual Opportunity. Rose launched the Individual Mastery Project, a long-term study investigating the development of individual excellence and expertise. He will be working at the Institute on the development of educational robotics. Rose’s appointment as a Wyss Associate Faculty member establishes the GSE as the newest of the Wyss Institute’s collaborating institutions, bringing the total number to seventeen.

"It is always exciting to bring in new members into our community who bring their own vision, creativity and passion into the mix. I look forward to seeing the new collaborations and research directions take off at the Institute as a result of this expansion of our faculty," said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS.

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