Spencer Lake, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, has been awarded the Y.C. Fung Early Career Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the highest award for young investigators in bioengineering. Lake was chosen for his pioneering work in musculoskeletal biomechanics and mechanobiology. He will receive the award, which recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of bioengineering through research, in July 2018 at the 2018 8th World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland.
Previous recipients include Farshid Guilak, professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at WashU School of Medicine, director of research for the Shriners Hospitals for Children - St. Louis Shriners, co-director of the Washington University Center of Regenerative Medicine, with appointments in the departments of developmental biology and biomedical engineering; David Meaney, Solomon R. Pollack Professor and Chair of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering & Applied Science; Jay Humphrey, the John C. Malone Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chair, at Yale University School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Lake's research focuses on soft tissue biomechanics, with an emphasis on orthopedic tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. His research uses a multiscale experimental and computational approach to evaluate the in vivo loading environment, tissue properties, and microstructural structure-function relationships of tissues that function in complex physiologic environments. Studies conducted in Lake's research group in the Musculoskeletal Soft Tissue Laboratory aim to enhance fundamental understanding of healthy tissue properties, elucidate changes that occur in (and mechanisms responsible for) injury/disease, and provide guidelines for improved treatment/replacement strategies.
Lake joined WashU Engineering in 2012 from the University of Minnesota, where he was a postdoctoral fellow. He earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah.