KNOXVILLE — Wei He, an assistant professor in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s, College of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.
He received the award for her project “Immunologically Responsive Therapeutic Biomaterials to Modulate Wound Healing in the Nervous Systems: An Integrated Research and Education Plan.” The award is effective from August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2016. She holds a joint appointment in the college’s Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical departments.
The CAREER award is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
He’s research focuses on the interface of biomaterials and biological systems, particularly the nervous system where implantable materials are reconnecting the damaged neural network to improve patients’ quality of life. She is also developing new bioactive materials for orthopedic applications.
He received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Tianjin University in China and her doctorate from the University of Connecticut. Her doctoral thesis work sparked her interest in the biomedical engineering field.
He held a post-doctoral position at Georgia Tech where she advanced her research in the field of neural engineering, particularly on brain-machine interface and nerve regeneration. In 2006, she accepted a senior fellow position at the University of Washington in Seattle to develop new materials for tissue engineering. Shortly thereafter, she joined the UT Knoxville faculty.
“We were delighted to learn of Dr. He’s CAREER award,” said George Pharr, professor and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Biomaterials are central to our entire biomedical engineering program, and we are determined to build a first-class biomaterials effort here at the university. Dr. He’s achievements are an important step in that direction, and she is very deserving of this honor.”
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