The global prestige and visibility that Georgia Tech enjoys would not be possible without the vision and drive of the Institute’s world-class faculty and staff. Their achievements and accomplishments bring recognition to themselves and to the larger Tech community.
Professor Gilda Barabino was elected president of the Biomedical Engineering Society, for which she had previously served as a board member and treasurer.
Barabino’s plans for her presidency include the promotion of partnerships between the national society and other professional societies and with other organizations that support the discipline. She is also considering the idea of introducing biology, medicine, and engineering disciplines at the K-12 level.
“Children are naturally inquisitive about the world,” Barabino said, “and so we need mechanisms in place to help them explore. There are many students who are interested in medicine but do not realize the scope of professions it encompasses. We can help them learn that there are other ways of being involved in medicine.”
Associate Professor of International Affairs Danny Breznitz testified before the Senate’s U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on the need for the United States to refocus its economic perspective in order to compete with China.
“A pervasive misconception among policy makers and academics has made excelling in innovation—defined solely as the creation of new technologies, services, and products—the holy grail of economic growth,” said Breznitz, an expert in globalization and rapid innovation-based industries. “Accordingly, too often conversations about innovation focus on novel breakthrough developments that give rise to ‘game-changing’ technology.”
Breznitz outlined four central points that the commission should consider about China’s innovation capabilities and the real challenge they present for the United States:
Steve McLaughlin, former vice provost for International Initiatives, addressed the French National Assembly in Paris.
McLaughlin’s presentation was part of the inaugural French-American Parliamentary meetings symposium that focused on strengthening community, educational, and university cooperation between the two countries. He participated on a panel that provided insight on existing French-American academic exchanges and how to strengthen these programs and develop new opportunities.
Professor Ravi Bellamkonda was named the first Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Chair in Biomedical Engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. The award—made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the Flanagans—recognizes Bellamkonda’s scholarship and thought leadership in regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, and cancer research and will support his active research program.
Bellamkonda directs the Neurological Biomaterials and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory, a part of the Laboratory for Neuroengineering in the Biomedical Engineering Department. He also serves as associate vice president within the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.
Younan Xia, an internationally recognized leader in the field of nanotechnology, was named the first GRA Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine.
Xia’s research focuses on nanocrystals—a novel class of materials with features smaller than 100 nanometers—as well as the development of innovative technologies enabled by nanocrystals. These technologies span the fields of molecular imaging, early cancer diagnosis, targeted drug delivery, biomaterials, regenerative medicine, and catalysis.
“The possible applications of nanotechnology in medicine have only begun to be explored,” said Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. “Dr. Xia’s expertise and collaborative vision will lead to vital new scientific discoveries that can be transformed into new tools to help people live healthier lives.”
Maria G. Westdickenberg, associate professor of mathematics, received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
“I am very honored to receive this award, particularly because of its combined focus on research, education, and outreach,” said Westdickenberg. “As consuming and vital as research is, I think the call to train and inspire our young people and to reach out to underrepresented groups is equally vital. I am honored to be mentioned in the context of that effort.”
The American Chemical Society (ACS) named College of Sciences Dean and Chemistry Professor Paul Houston and Chemistry Professor David Sherrill as fellows for 2011. They were honored for their work in chemistry as well as their contributions to society.
“ACS is especially proud to honor these chemists during the 2011 International Year of Chemistry,” said ACS President Nancy Jackson. “The work they are doing will improve all of our lives as they unleash the power of chemistry to solve global challenges like providing clean water, sufficient food, new energy sources, and cures for disease. They’re also organizing scientific conferences for their peers, doing outreach with schools, and being mentors to the next generation of scientists.”