Faculty from the Department of Biomedical Engineering Inducted into the 2024 Class of AIMBE College of Fellows

March 27, 2024 by

UVA Timothy Allen, Mete Civelek, Brian Helmke AIMBE fellows

left to right: Timothy Allen, PhD; Mete Civelek, PhD; and Brian Helmke, PhD

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellows represent the top 2 percent of accomplished medical and biological engineers. Now more than half of the faculty in the University of Virginia’s Department of Biomedical Engineering hold this honor.

The latest inductees to AIMBE are faculty members Timothy Allen, PhD, Mete Civelek, PhD, and Brian Helmke, PhD. Each was nominated, reviewed and elected by peers and members of the AIMBE College of Fellows for outstanding work in education and research.

The College brings together engineers from academia, industry, clinical practice and government. Election as an AIMBE Fellow is one of the highest professional distinctions for medical and biological engineers.

Timothy Allen, a professor on the academic general track who primarily focuses on teaching, was recognized as a Fellow of AIMBE for his contributions to biomedical engineering education, including developing novel research training programs and integrative teaching laboratories. An expert in computational bioengineering and bioinformatics, Allen’s education research evaluates the optimal pedagogical approaches for teaching lab concepts and skills, computational modeling approaches and professionalism within design classes. Since 2016, he has been the primary investigator and director for a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site in multi-scale systems bioengineering and biomedical data sciences. Allen is also a celebrated classroom instructor who has earned a dozen awards for teaching, including the Hartfield Excellence in Teaching Award from the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the All-University Teaching Award. Last spring, the undergraduate biomedical engineering majors chose him as the 2023 “Favorite Professor of the Year.”

Mete Civelek, an associate professor and resident faculty member in the School of Medicine’s Center for Public Health Genomics, was recognized as a Fellow of AIMBE for groundbreaking contributions to cardiovascular systems genetics, leading to the identification of novel molecular pathways as therapeutic targets for cardiometabolic disorders, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. In the lab, Civelek and his team study the complex interactions among genes and environment that increase our risk for these diseases. Civelek’s work has led to recent discoveries of potential ways to target coronary artery disease, the nation’s no. 1 killer, and has contributed to our understanding of “healthy obesity.” Civelek is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and a recent recipient of the AHA Established Investigator Award. He is the founding chair of the biomedical engineering department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) committee and represents the department on the Diversity Councils of both the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering.

Brian Helmke, an associate professor, was recognized as a Fellow of AIMBE for leading the call to integrate evidence-based teaching practices into technical biomedical engineering education to advance engagement and equity. Across his career, Helmke designed creative didactic approaches to biomedical engineering education. He also developed and validated novel methods to bring equity, inclusivity and collaboration into the biomedical engineering learning environment. He shared these approaches widely by publishing original education research that has since shaped biomedical engineering pedagogy and made tangible contributions to promote diversity in biomedical engineering education. Last fall, Helmke was elected a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. He will receive two UVA teaching awards this spring, the Hartfield Excellence in Teaching Award and the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. Both are top honors for UVA educators. Helmke’s scientific research explores the relationship between cell mechanics and cell function by using new tools in materials science and molecular biology.

A formal induction ceremony was held during the AIMBE Annual Event on March 25, 2024.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering now has a total of 23 faculty who have been elected to the AIMBE College of Fellows. Previous inductees include: Thomas H. BarkerSilvia BlemkerPhilip E. BourneGeorge J. ChristFrederick H. EpsteinWilliam H. GuilfordJohn A. HossackKevin A. JanesKimberly A. KellyCraig H. MeyerJohn R. Mugler IIIJason PapinShayn Peirce-CottlerRichard J. PriceJeffrey J. Saucerman, and Aidong Zhang.

Article written by Courtney Clayton. 

Original Source

Filed Under: Faculty, Honors & Awards