Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Karen L. Wooley has been elected as a 2020 Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in medical and biological engineering.
Wooley, holder of the W.T. Doherty-Welch Chair in Chemistry and one of the world’s top chemists in the burgeoning field of materials and polymer chemistry, is one of 156 new members announced March 24 as the most recent additions to the AIMBE College of Fellows, which include seven faculty-researchers from Texas-based institutions. Recent achievements made possible by Wooley and her research group include a sustainable plastic that degrades in water; a wound dressing that the body absorbs; a non-toxic polymer coating that can prevent marine animals from sticking to a ship’s hull; and nanoparticles that can absorb 10 times their weight in spilled crude oil.
Because the AIMBE College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers, election is considered among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”
Wooley, who was nominated, reviewed and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows, is cited for “transformative development of methods to construct intricate macromolecular structures and nanoscopic objects that serve as biomedically-functional polymer device technologies.”
AIMBE Fellows are among the most distinguished medical and biological engineers, including 3 Nobel Prize winners, 18 who have received the Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation, and a total of 292 National Academies members.
“Being an AIMBE Fellow is more than just another designation on your CV,” said Paul Citron, Chair of the AIMBE College of Fellows. “Being an AIMBE Fellow is about joining a community working together to give back and make the fields of medical and biological engineering stronger through advocacy. Never before has this mission been more important.”
Wooley and her fellow 2020 honorees were set to be honored as part of a March 30 induction ceremony during the 2020 AIMBE Annual Meeting, scheduled for March 29-30 in Washington, D.C. Although the meeting was canceled due to COVID-19, the AIMBE Board of Directors agreed by a unanimous vote to approve a one-time, special exemption to permit the Class of 2020’s remote induction into the College of Fellows.
“During times like this, the importance of becoming an AIMBE Fellow is highlighted,” said Milan P. Yager, Executive Director of the AIMBE. “This organization’s mission advocating for increased funding for biomedical research, and the value of trusting science and scientists is critical.”
A member of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty since 2009, Wooley also holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, she serves as director of the Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions. She was appointed as a distinguished professor in 2011 and was named one of Texas A&M’s 24 inaugural Presidential Impact Fellows in 2017. She also serves as chief technology officer for United Kingdom-based Teysha Technologies, which signed a sponsored research agreement last year with Texas A&M to streamline degradable polymers development and expand the scope of bioplastics technology developed within the Wooley Laboratory.
A Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2014), Wooley’s career awards to date include the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2014 Centenary Prize and the American Chemical Society’s 2015 Oesper Award. In 2014, she also made history as the first woman to receive the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry, a prestigious accolade honoring outstanding fundamental contributions and achievements toward addressing global needs for advanced polymer systems and materials. Most recently, she was elected as a 2019 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
To learn more about the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the 2020 Fellows class, visit https://aimbe.org/.
For more information on Wooley and her research, visit https://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/wooley/.
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About the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering: The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., representing the most accomplished individuals in the fields of medical and biological engineering. No other organization can bring together academia, industry, government, and scientific societies to form a highly influential community advancing medical and biological engineering. AIMBE’s mission is to provide leadership and advocacy in medical and biological engineering for the benefit of society. To learn more, go to https://aimbe.org/.
About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $952 million in fiscal year 2019. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s most recent Higher Education Research and Development survey (2018), based on expenditures of more than $922 million in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit Research@Texas A&M.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or email@example.com or Dr. Karen L. Wooley, (979) 845-4077 or firstname.lastname@example.org