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Three Texas Engineers Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has elected three Cockrell School of Engineering professors to its esteemed College of Fellows in 2018.

Steven Abrams, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute in the Dell Medical School; Hal Alper, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering; and Adela Ben-Yakar, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, were inducted at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

The AIMBE is a nonprofit organization representing the most accomplished individuals in the fields of medical and biological engineering. Its College of Fellows is comprised of over 1,500 members, all of whom have demonstrated notable achievements as leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in the fields of medical and biological engineering.

AIMBE fellows are recognized for changing people’s lives for the better by helping to revolutionize medicine and related fields, improving health care and increasing the life expectancy of people the world over. In addition to their contributions to biological and medical research, they are proven influencers — inspiring change in attitudes, cultures and policies so that research and business communities can effectively pursue the interests of engineers, scientists and, ultimately, patients.

Abrams, Alper and Ben-Yakar are three of 150 newly elected members this year, an exclusive group which represents the most accomplished in the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country.

About UT Austin’s newest AIMBE Fellows:

Steven Abrams is a neonatologist whose research focuses on the mineral requirements of children of all ages, particularly calcium, zinc and iron metabolism. In the clinical setting, his interests include the growth of preterm infants and the use of specialized nutritional practices. Abrams is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is the current chair of its Committee on Nutrition. He is also a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and an executive committee member of the American Society for Nutrition’s Medical Nutrition Council.

Hal Alper is a chemical engineer whose research focuses on engineering biology to produce organic molecules of interest, such as biofuels, commodity and specialty chemicals, and protein pharmaceuticals. He is principally known for his novel approach to merging synthetic biology, protein engineering and metabolic engineering to achieve new kinds of phenotypes in eukaryotic cells. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Young Investigator Award, the Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Adela Ben-Yakar is a mechanical engineer who was elected to the College of Fellows for original and innovative contributions in ultrafast laser microsurgery and nonlinear microscopy with translational applications in biology, medicine and surgery. She has received numerous grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas for her transformative research, ranging from femtosecond laser applications in surgery to using roundworms to discover ways to speed up drug delivery.