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BME Alum Elected to National Academy of Engineering

photo of Jennifer West

Jennifer L. West has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

She is one of 80 new members and 22 new foreign members to join the NAE in 2016. Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer.

West, who received both an M.S. (1994) and Ph.D. (1996) in biomedical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, is a biomedical engineering professor at Duke University, where she leads the Biofunctional Materials West Lab.

West's research focuses on the development of novel biomaterials and tissue engineering to address a wide array of biological problems from glaucoma to cancer. Her recent work includes creating patterned surfaces to control the physical interactions of cultured cells and developing artificial “microenvironments” that can mimic living tissues, making them ideal for cell and tissue applications.

She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Frank Annunzio Award from the Christopher Columbus Foundation, and the Texas Inventor of the Year in 2010.

West also serves on the UT Austin Department of Biomedical Engineering’s External Advisory Committee.