Engineering News

Four Elected to Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Inductees with Northwestern Engineering ties are among 156 engineers who make up AIMBE’s College of Fellows Class of 2019

Luís Amaral and Linda Broadbelt at the AIMBE induction ceremony on March 25.Luís Amaral and Linda Broadbelt at the AIMBE induction ceremony on March 25.

Three Northwestern Engineering researchers and one alumnus have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

Linda BroadbeltLuís AmaralRichard Lieber, and Milton Morris (’92, Kellogg ’04) are among 156 engineers who make up the College of Fellows Class of 2019. They were formally inducted on March 25 during AIMBE’s 2019 annual meeting at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

AIMBE’s College of Fellows comprises the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Fellows are recognized for their notable contributions advancing the fields of medical and biological engineering through research, practice, or education.

Linda Broadbelt, the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor and professor of chemical and biological engineering, studies complex kinetics modeling of hydrocarbon chemistry, and applies her expertise to diverse fields, including catalysis, degradation kinetics, and biological pathway identification. She was elected to AIMBE for “distinguished contributions to complex network modeling, particularly for computational approaches for the discovery of novel pathways and new molecules.”

Richard Lieber

In addition, Broadbelt, who also serves as associate dean, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering earlier this year in recognition of her significant contributions to the field.

Luís Amaral, the Erastus Otis Haven Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, studies the emergence, evolution, and stability of complex social and biological systems. His research aims to address some of society’s most pressing challenges, including the mitigation of errors in healthcare, the characterization of the conditions fostering innovation, and the growth limits imposed by sustainability. He was recognized by AIMBE for “the introduction and popularization of complex systems approaches to the study of medical and biological phenomena.”

The codirector of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, Amaral recently studied data from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents to find four distinct clusters of personality types, which challenged existing paradigms in psychology. He also published research on the role of historical bias in leading scientists to study the same 10 percent of all human genes whose sequences are known while ignoring others known to play roles in disease.

Milton MorrisRichard Lieber, chief scientific officer and senior vice president of research at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and professor of biomedical engineering, takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying biomechanics and orthopaedic surgery. He has led pioneering research on human muscle during hand surgery and in conditions of muscle contracture due to cerebral palsy. He was elected by AIMBE for “discovery and translation of musculoskeletal knowledge with emphasis on tissue biophysics to clinical practice of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation.”

Milton Morris, a member of the McCormick Advisory Council, currently serves as president and CEO of NeuSpera Medical, a startup that creates implantable medical device technology to improve the lives of patients with chronic illnesses. An inventor with more than 25 patents, he was recognized for “contributions to developing and commercializing innovations in bioelectronic medicine, and for generous contributions to his professional and broader communities.”