Biomedical Engineering

Distinguished Seminar Series: Thomas Webster, Ph.D., Chair, Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University

Thomas Webster, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemical Engineering
Northeastern University

From Nanotechnology to Picotechnology: Revolutionizing the Use of Materials in Medicine

Inspired from biological systems, nanotechnology is beginning to revolutionize medicine including improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of numerous diseases. This talk will summarize efforts over the past decade that have synthesized novel nanoparticles, nanotubes, and other nanomaterials to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. Efforts focused on the use of nanomaterials to minimize immune cell interactions, inhibit infection, and increase tissue growth will be especially emphasized. Tissue systems covered will include the nervous system, orthopedics, bladder, cardiovascular, vascular, and the bladder. Due to complications translating in vitro to in vivo results, only in vivo studies will be emphasized here. Materials to be covered will include ceramics, metals, polymers, and composites thereof. Self-assembled nano-chemistries will also be emphasized. As the FDA has now approved several nanomaterials for medical applications, recent results from FDA trials will also be discussed. In summary, this talk will provide the latest information concerning the design and use of numerous nanomaterials in regenerative medicine while highlighting what is necessary for this field to continue to grow. This talk will also introduce a new field, picotechnology, and how it can be exploited for improving the use of materials in medicine.

Thomas J. Webster’s (H index 60 according to Google Scholar) degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S., 1995) and in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S., 1997; Ph.D., 2000). He is currently the Department Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. His research explores the use of nanotechnology in numerous applications. Specifically, his research addresses the design, synthesis, and evaluation of nanophase materials (that is, materials with fundamental length scales less than 100 nm) as more effective biomedical devices. He has completed extensive studies on the use of nanophase materials to regenerate tissues and has graduated/supervised over 109 visiting faculty, clinical fellows, post-doctoral students, and thesis completing B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. students. To date, his lab group has generated over 9 textbooks, 48 book chapters, 306 invited presentations, at least 403 peer-reviewed literature articles, at least 567 conference presentations, and 32 provisional or full patents. Some of these patents led to the formation of 9 companies. His research on nanomedicine has received attention in recent media publications including MSNBC (October 10, 2005), NBC Nightly News (May 14, 2007), PBS DragonFly TV (covered across the US during the winter, 2008), ABC Nightly News via the Ivanhoe Medical Breakthrough Segment (covered across the US during the winters of 2008 and separate research segments in 2010 and 2011), and Fox News (Dec. 18, 2013). His work has been on display at the London and Boston Science Museums. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanomedicine (the first international journal in nanomedicine which in five years has achieved an impact factor of 4.97), serves on the editorial board of 15 additional journals, has helped to organize 22 conferences emphasizing nanotechnology in medicine, and has organized over 53 symposia at numerous conferences emphasizing biological interactions with nanomaterials. He also recently chaired the 2011 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Conference and has organized numerous symposia for AIChE, IEEE, MRS and ASME Annual Meetings. He has received numerous honors including, but not limited to: 2002, Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award; 2003, Outstanding Young Investigator Award Purdue University College of Engineering; 2005, American Association of Nanomedicine Young Investigator Award Finalist; 2005, Coulter Foundation Young Investigator Award; 2006, Fellow, American Association of Nanomedicine; 2010, Distinguished Lecturer in Nanomedicine, University of South Florida; 2011, Oustanding Leadership Award for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES); 2011, Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, representing the top 2% of all medical and biological engineers); 2013, Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society; and 2014, Fellow, Ernst Strugmann Foundation.

When: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:10 PM

Where: 1005 GBSF

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