The Society For Biomaterials proudly announces its Newly Elected Officers
Andrés J. García, PhD
Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Chair and Regents’ Professor
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Biographical Sketch: Andrés J. García is the Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Endowed Chair and Regents’ Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Honors from Cornell University in 1991, and M.S.E. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cell and molecular biology at the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and then joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1998. Dr. García’s research program integrates innovative engineering, materials science, and cell biology concepts and technologies to create cell-instructive biomaterials for regenerative medicine and generate new knowledge in mechanobiology. This cross-disciplinary effort has resulted in new biomaterial platforms that elicit targeted cellular responses and tissue repair in various biomedical applications, innovative technologies to study and exploit cell adhesive interactions, and new mechanistic insights into the interplay of mechanics and cell biology. Dr. García is recognized as an international leader in bioengineering as demonstrated by his prestigious scholarly publications, invited presentations at conferences and research programs world-wide, research funding from NIH, NSF and private foundations, and membership on the editorial boards of leading biomaterial and regenerative medicine journals, including serving as Associate Editor for the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A and Biomaterials. In addition, his research has generated intellectual property and licensing agreements with start-up and multi-national companies, demonstrating the translational potential and impact of this work. He has received several distinctions, including the NSF CAREER Award, Arthritis Investigator Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, and the Clemson Award for Basic Science from the Society for Biomaterials. He has been recognized as a top Latino educator by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He is an elected Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (by the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
Vision Statement: I have been an active member of SFB for more than 20 years as a student, post-doc, and faculty member. In addition to regularly organizing sessions at the annual meeting, I have provided leadership within SFB and our community as SIG Chair, Executive Board and Council Member (2005-2007), Vice-Chair (2005) and Chair (2007) of the Gordon Research Conference on Biomaterials, Program Chair of the SFB Fall Symposium (2008), member of the Program Committee for the annual meeting (2007, 2008, 2011, 2015), member of the Awards and Nomination Committee (2008-2009, 2014-2015), and currently Member-at-Large. In addition to outstanding diverse professional opportunities for scientific discussions, networking and interactions with academia, industry and government, the Society has provided a nurturing environment where I have developed many good and lasting collaborations and friendships.
My vision for SFB is for the Society to be a thriving, international community of leaders, researchers, experts, and educators from academia, industry, and government with far-reaching and lasting impact on all aspects of biomaterials science, engineering, and policy. I will focus my efforts on three major areas:
Increase Value to Members. Through strategic and managerial activities, I will work with other Council and Board officers to increase the value that the Society provides to our members as related to scientific excellence, educational and professional development, and broader societal impact.
Foster Scientific Excellence and a Nurturing Environment. The annual and regional meetings (e.g., Biomaterial Days) provide ideal convergence points for the exchange of scientific ideas and community building efforts. I will work with the leadership and program committees to enhance the scientific context and networking aspects of these critical meetings.
Expand the Impact of SFB. To truly contribute and improve human health, our activities must extend beyond our Society. I will work to expand our sphere of influence including broadening marketing and visibility, highlighting positive impact and contributions of the biomaterials community, and reaching out to other professional groups where biomaterials expertise is important. We must also engage the public as ambassadors for our field.
It will be my honor to continue serving SFB and I will work diligently and vigorously to improve the SFB community.
Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, PhD.
Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
Biographical Sketch: Dr. Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Her laboratory specializes in the development of polymeric biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Elizabeth has been an active member of the Society For Biomaterials since 2001 and served on numerous committees over the past 10+ years. She served on the SFB Board of Directors as the Member-at-Large (2015-2016) and is currently serving on the Council as Chair of the Education and Professional Development Committee (2016-2017). Elizabeth has been active in the Tissue Engineering Special Interest Group (SIG) for many years including serving as the Program Chair (2011-2013), Vice Chair (2013-2015), and Chair (2015-2017). Other committees of the Society that she has served on include the Program Committee (2014-2015), Long Range Planning Committee (2013-2015), Education and Professional Development Committee (2010-2014), and the Awards, Ceremonies and Nominations Committee (2014-2015). Elizabeth was instrumental in starting the SFB Women’s Networking Luncheon and has been very active in programming at the annual meetings including the popular Biomimetic Materials for Tissue Engineering sessions (2009-2012, 2015). Her most recent efforts have focused on increasing programming relevant to industry partners with a panel on Polyurethanes and a workshop on degradation testing at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC. She has also chaired and served on the steering committee of the Texas Biomaterials Day over the past five years and is the faculty advisor of the Texas A&M SFB Student Chapter. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B Applied Biomaterials and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition and Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A. She also serves the community as a standing member of the National Institutes of Health study section on Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering (MTE).
Vision Statement: SFB is the first scientific meeting that I attended as a student and it has been an incredible support community throughout my career. The society serves many roles for its membership: a venue for scientific discourse, a training ground for students, network and support at all stages, and a common ground for academia, industry and the clinic to interact. I have always valued the training and opportunities that I have received here, and, I will enthusiastically work with the Board and Council to improve our Society for its members. First, in the role of Secretary-Treasurer-Elect, I will learn from the Secretary/Treasurer how to manage the operating and reserve budgets to achieve our fiscal goals. This will prepare me as Secretary/Treasurer to make fiscal recommendations and prioritization to the Board that both serve our membership and promotes the long-range financial stability of the Society.
The Society rises and falls by the participation of its members and the diversity of our membership is one of our strengths. I will work to make sure that the value proposition for SFB membership is strong for each sector of the biomaterials community (industry, academia, and governmental agencies) and each level, from undergrad to senior scientist. My variety of roles in the society have prepared me to succeed in this position and I am honored to continue to serve the society.
Member at Large:
Helen Lu, PhD
Biographical Sketch: Dr. Helen H. Lu received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her first postdoctoral fellowship at Drexel University with Dr. Cato Laurencin, and a second postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University with Dr. David Kaplan, before joining the Columbia University faculty in 2001. Dr. Lu is currently a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory. She also received tenure at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine, and is a founding member of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative and the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration.
Dr. Lu’s research focuses on Interface Tissue Engineering and the formation of complex or composite tissue systems. She has been recognized as an international leader in the field of soft tissue-to-bone integration, which is highly relevant for the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries and dental conditions. Additionally, her research group is active in the design of novel composite biomaterials for orthopedic and dental applications. Dr. Lu's work has been supported by both private foundations as well as state and federal agencies, and her group has published extensively on biomaterial/scaffold design and tissue engineering. Additionally, Dr. Lu is the inventor and co-inventor of more than a dozen patents and applications, several of which are being actively pursued for clinical translation. Dr. Lu has served on the editorial board of leading journals in the field, including currently the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Regenerative Biomaterials, Regenerative Engineering and IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.
Her research has been recognized with many awards, including the Early Faculty Career Awards in Translational Research (Phase I and Phase II) from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials. Dr. Lu was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at the White House in 2010, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2011.
Vision Statement: Since my first Society for Biomaterials (SFB) meeting as a graduate student, I have been an active member of the society for more than 20 years. In addition to chairing and organizing sessions at the annual meeting, I have also served the community as a member of the Membership Committee (2008-2010), the Long Range Planning Committee (2009-2011), a Council Member (2015), and the Program Committee for both the annual meeting (2014-2016) and the World Biomaterials Congress (2011-2012). Working closely with our newly funded student chapter, I chaired and organized the Northeast Biomaterials Day Conference (2010), and more recently served as Co-Chair of the Program Committee for the SFB Annual Meeting (2015). To me, SFB stands out as a unique organization because in addition to being the premier platform for highlighting cutting edge advances in biomaterials research, the Society also provides a positive, nurturing environment for its members to build productive collaborations and form lasting friendships, and to engage in diverse professional activities that extend beyond the confines of our respective institutions.
Therefore, it is essential for the Society to grow and maintain a thriving community of leaders, experts, innovators, and educators that will shape and drive the future of biomaterials research, medical device design, and translation. To this end, I will dedicate my efforts to three focus areas:
- Effectively Engaging and Representing the Membership: The diverse membership of SFB, which ranges from students and research fellows to faculty, with representation from industry, academia, as well as government institutions, makes up the backbone of the Society and is the driving force for innovation and translation in biomaterials worldwide. It is thus essential to engage the community effectively by establishing regular and modern communications between membership and leadership, with the goal of working collectively to identify target areas for improvement and emerging directions relevant to our community.
- Encouraging Scientific Excellence and Program Relevance: The annual SFB and regional Biomaterials Days meetings are excellent platforms for the exchange of current and future concepts in biomaterials research. I will work with the leadership and program committees to maintain programmatic excellence. In addition, I will actively communicate with the membership (academic and industry) in order to help to identify the current and relevant biomaterials-related topics that should be highlighted or explored in-depth at these meetings.
- Enhancing Community Building: The annual and regional meetings are also ideal settings for community building and promoting biomaterials education. To this end, I plan to work closely with the SIGs and student chapters to ensure resources are directed towards mentoring and networking events that target students and fellows, as well as junior to mid-career faculty, thereby extending the Society’s tradition of fostering a nurturing environment for all members. Moreover, I will work with SFB leadership and membership to promote societal awareness of biomaterials and their importance in improving human health and quality of life.
It will be my honor to continue to serve SFB. I am committed to being an effective representative of our membership, and will strive to ensure that we can all work together to foster biomaterials innovation and build a thriving SFB community.