Three Washington University in St. Louis faculty members and one alumna have been named Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). According to AIMBE, its College of Fellows is limited to the top 2% of medical and biological engineers and are those who are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research and innovation. They are among 152 engineers who will be inducted in a virtual ceremony March 25.

Shantanu Chakrabartty, the Clifford W. Murphy Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering and vice dean for research and graduate education in the McKelvey School of Engineering, also is a professor of computer science & engineering and of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of neurosciences in Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences in the School of Medicine.

His research pushes new bioengineering frontiers in the design of self-powered neuromorphic systems and in-vivo bioinstrumentation. He has published more than 175 refereed journal and conference articles in prestigious venues including Nature, Frontiers, IEEE Transactions and NeurIPS. He has made several key contributions to the field with high practical impact. He pioneered in-memory analog computing which emerged as the architecture of choice in modern design of artificial intelligence and machine learning microchips. He was first to report a unique kind of sensor-data-logger device for battery-free, long-term monitoring that led to commercial development and clinical translation for in-vivo monitoring of spinal-fusion. And he was first to report reliable forward-error-correcting biosensors that combine the physics of protein binding with error-correcting primitives.

His recent work in the area of cyborg and neuromorphic sensing systems has been extensively covered by the news media including the BBC. He is co-director of McKelvey’s Center for Cyborg and Biorobotics Research. He holds 18 issued and pending US patents, and in 2012 he was awarded the innovator of the year award by Michigan State University. Chakrabartty has been consistently funded by National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense, and in 2010, Chakrabartty was awarded the NSF’s CAREER award. In 2011 he was awarded the Teacher-Scholar award by Michigan State University, which is the highest award bestowed by the university in recognition of faculty teaching. Chakrabartty also is an alumnus of the U.S. National Academy Frontiers of Engineering.

Pamela K. Woodard, MD, is the Hugh Monroe Wilson Professor of Radiology at the School of Medicine. Also a professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, Woodard serves as Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology’s (MIR) senior vice chair and division director of Radiology Research Facilities — the first woman division director in the department’s history. She also serves as director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research, head of Advanced Cardiac Imaging CT/MRI and director of the Radiology Research Residency Program. 

Woodard’s translational work at MIR focuses on cardiovascular imaging. She was a principal investigator of a landmark trial that established a new standard of care for diagnosing blood clots in the lungs. She also led a team that developed a PET radiotracer that detects a protein associated with plaques that may be unstable and prone to causing sudden major problems such as a heart attack or stroke. She has more than 200 manuscripts, several patents and has served on National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, including as a standing member on Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS) and Medical Imaging (MEDI), and as chair of the NIH study section Imaging Guided Interventions and Surgery (IGIS). She has received numerous awards for her work including being named an Academy of Radiology Research Distinguished Investigator.

Last year, Woodard was named the 2021 Outstanding Researcher by the Radiological Society of North America. The honor recognizes those who make significant contributions to radiologic research and pioneer change in the industry. Also in 2021, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is a fellow of the American College of Radiology, American Heart Association, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance, and North American Society for Cardiovascular Imaging.

Quing Zhu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiology in the School of Medicine, has a passion is to advance cancer diagnosis and treatment prediction. She pioneered combining ultrasound and near infrared (NIR) imaging modalities for clinical diagnosis of breast cancers and for treatment assessment and prediction of advanced breast cancers. In addition, Zhu and her team as well as her collaborators have pioneered co-registered ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging techniques for ovarian cancer detection and diagnosis. Zhu’s team and her collaborators at the School of Medicine have investigated co-registered photoacoustic microscopy and ultrasound, optical coherence tomography and structured light techniques for colorectal cancer diagnosis and for rectal cancer treatment response prediction. Her research interests are focused on multi-modality photoacoustic, ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, structured light imaging techniques for cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment assessment and prediction. 

Zhu has been named a fellow of Optical Society of American (OSA), a fellow of SPIE- International Society for Optics and Photonics and a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science. She is an associate editor of Transactions of Biomedical Engineering, a topical editor of Optics Letters, and an editorial board member of Photoacoustic and Biomedical Optics.

Christine Lorenz is chief operating officer at Cohesic Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Cohesic aims to improve health outcomes for patients with chronic diseases by using relevant diagnostic, clinical and patient-reported health data to help physicians make personalized care decisions for their patients. Using multi-modal cardiovascular data, Cohesic has developed risk prediction models for conditions that cause major burden to patients and health care systems including tools for predicting which patients are at high risk for heart failure admission or developing atrial fibrillation, a major cause of stroke and other disease. 

Prior to joining Cohesic in early 2019, Lorenz held a variety of management roles in the health care businesses of Siemens over 19 years. She worked for Siemens in the U.K., Germany and the U.S. focusing on product development in the medical imaging field, working in both diagnostic imaging and image guided surgery with 12 granted patents.  She was part of the executive team for three Siemens businesses and has broad experience in product development, operations, IP strategy, innovation strategy, new market expansion, business development, partnerships with external companies and hospitals, as well as leading and developing distributed, diverse teams.

Prior to her Siemens career, she was in academic medicine, first as an assistant professor of radiology at Vanderbilt University and then as an associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Washington University in St. Louis as head of a lab doing research using cardiac MRI, where she also partnered with industry to bring innovations to market. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University, where she was a Langsdorf Scholar. Her master’s degree in mechanical engineering and doctorate in biomedical engineering were earned at Vanderbilt University, and she later earned an executive MBA from the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, Germany. Lorenz is a member of the McKelvey Engineering National Council.

The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 165 full-time faculty, 1,420 undergraduate students, 1,614 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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