CATEGORY: Spotlight

Bioengineering professor wins National Medal of Science

UC San Diego’s Shu Chien receives highest honor bestowed by U.S. government on scientists and engineers.

President Barack Obama today (Sept. 27) named University of California, San Diego, bioengineering professor Shu Chien one of the seven eminent researchers to receive the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers. Chien is the only engineer among the seven medalists.

Shu Chien, a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, is a world leader in the study of how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels. Chien is a university professor of bioengineering and medicine at UC San Diego and Director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine.

“Professor Shu Chien is truly remarkable. He is one of only 11 renowned scholars who are members of all three U.S. national institutes – the National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; and the Institute of Medicine,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “For more than 20 years, Shu has collaborated with UC San Diego colleagues across the campus and the health sciences while mentoring a generation of students and postdoctoral researchers. We celebrate this tremendous honor and congratulate him.” Fox won the National Medal of Science last year.

Chien is an expert on how blood flow and pressure affect vessels. His research has led to the development of better diagnostic tests and treatments for atherosclerosis, which refers to the hardening of the arteries, and other diseases.

“Shu Chien played a crucial role in forming the Jacobs School’s Department of Bioengineering and building it into a world class institution that is ranked number one for biomedical engineering by the National Research Council,” said Frieder Seible, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. “As director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine, Shu is now leading efforts to further strengthen research and educational collaborations between all six departments of the Jacobs School of Engineering and the School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy.”

Chien joined UC San Diego in 1988 after he was recruited by Y.C. Fung and Benjamin Zweifach, who co-founded the bioengineering program at UC San Diego with Marcos Intaglietta.

“I regard recruiting Shu as my greatest contribution to UCSD,” said Fung in 2005 when Chien received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian American Engineer of the Year Awards Committee. Chien has held the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering since 2006.

The Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is a leader in systems biology, regenerative medicine and multi-scale bioengineering focused on understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine has research centers focusing on health and disease in cardiac, musculoskeletal, retina, and neurological systems; on medical devices and instrumentation technologies; multiscale imaging in living systems; and nano-medicine and nano-engineering. The institute also focuses on training, industry cooperation and entrepreneurism.

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