Christopher S. Chen Receives Heilmeier Research Award in Penn Engineering

PHILADELPHIA – Christopher S. Chen has been named the recipient of the 2010-11 George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Chen is the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering.  He is also a faculty member of the Cell Biology and Physiology Program as well as the Cell Growth and Cancer Program, director of the Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory and founding director of the Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration.

The Heilmeier Award honors a Penn Engineering faculty member whose work is scientifically meritorious and has high technological impact and visibility.  

It is named for George H. Heilmeier, a Penn Engineering alumnus and overseer whose technological contributions include the development of liquid crystal displays and whose honors include the National Medal of Science and Kyoto Prize.

“Chris Chen’s fundamental contributions in developing methods for studying and designing cellular microenvironments are exceptional and critical to understanding cellular decision-making,” Dean Eduardo Glandt said.  “Dr. Chen’s leadership in applications in regenerative medicine provides impact within Penn Engineering and also demonstrates why Penn is internationally prominent in this area.”

Chen’s previous honors include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Angiogenesis Foundation Fellowship, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Mary Hulman George Award for Biomedical Research and Herbert W. Dickerman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science.

Chen is a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology and the Board of Trustees for the Society for BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, editor for BioInterphases and Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics and an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow.

He received his A.B. in biochemistry from Harvard University, M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D. in medical engineering and medical physics from the Harvard-M.I.T. Health Sciences and Technology Program and M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Chen will deliver the Heilmeier Research Award Lecture in early 2011.