Farshid Guilak, the Mildred B. Simon Research Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and co-director of the Washington University Center for Regenerative Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and professor of biomedical engineering and of mechanical engineering & materials science in the McKelvey School of Engineering, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Election to the NAE, considered one of the highest honors in engineering, recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the field. Guilak was honored for his research involving the treatment of arthritic joints. His work has focused on uncovering factors that contribute to the onset and progression of arthritis, with an eye toward developing new drugs and stem cell therapies to treat various forms of the disease.

His team has worked to develop techniques to grow cartilage from patients’ donor cells to eventually create a living joint replacement to treat arthritis in the hip. His team also has pioneered the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to engineer cells with synthetic gene circuits that can secrete biologic drugs in response to factors such as inflammation or mechanical loading related to arthritis.

Guilak also is a professor of developmental biology in the School of Medicine and the director of research at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis. He will be inducted into the academy during its annual meeting in October.

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