Associate Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department has been successfully elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows – Class of 2020. According to AIMBE, the College of Fellows is composed of 2,000 individuals, the top two percent of the medical and biological engineering community, who are outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry, clinical practice, and government. “These leaders in the field have distinguished themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice, and/or education,” as the AIMBE website explains.
AIMBE is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., and representing the most accomplished individuals in the fields of medical and biological engineering. “As Chair of AIMBE’s College of Fellows, I oversee the nomination, review, and election process,” commented Paul Citron. “I can say without any hesitation the Class of 2020 is truly remarkable. This year AIMBE received the largest number of nominations - all of which were qualified candidates.”
Peyton’s induction will take place during AIMBE’s Annual Meeting and Induction Ceremony on March 29 and 30, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
Peyton is the head of the Peyton Research Group. As she explains about her lab, “We are several women and men, engineers, and biologists, and our mission is to learn how cells process information from their chemical and physical tissue environment.”
Peyton adds that “We design polymeric biomaterials to create models of human tissue and use them to study how cells move, grow, and respond to drugs in different tissue environments. We use this approach to find new ways to stop cancer metastasis, discover more effective cancer drugs, prevent heart disease, and build scaffolds for regenerative medicine.”
“To do this,” says Peyton, “our lab uses both 2D and 3D biomaterial model systems, which can be engineered from the ground-up to instruct cells via both biochemical and biophysical signaling pathways.”
In that context, as Peyton notes, her lab focuses on many applications dealing with cancer, including how rapidly it can spread to certain tissues, and why these cells that have spread far from the breast are resistant to drug treatment.
According to AIMBE Executive Director Milan P. Yager, “As AIMBE’s review and election process has become more rigorous, increasing numbers of very strong candidates are being nominated.”
Yager declares that it is a credit to the remarkable accomplishments of this year’s candidates that they advanced from the specialty review subcommittee and received sufficient affirmative votes to be elected.
“Their election and induction will place them in a very select group of the most accomplished in the fields of medical and biological engineering,” says Yager.
He also notes that AIMBE Fellows are expected to “give back” by contributing to AIMBE’s critical mission of advancing excellence and advocating for the fields of medical and biological engineering. “Never before has it been more critical for those in biomedical engineering to stand up for science and medical innovation,” he says.
Peyton says that she looks forward to attending the induction ceremony this spring, when she will spend time on Capitol Hill petitioning members of Congress to continue, or even increase, their support of higher education and the important research going on at UMass and universities across the nation. (November 2019)