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Three Northeastern professors recognized for extraordinary achievement in the field of medical and biological engineering

Headshots of three Northeastern professors, from left to right: Mansoor Amiji, Eno E. Ebong, Yun Raymond Fu.
Mansoor Amiji, Eno Ebong and Yun Raymond Fu honored by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Photos by Matthew Modoono and Adam Glaznman, both of Northeastern University

Three Northeastern professors have received top honors in their field from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Named to AIMBE’s College of Fellows Class of 2024 are Mansoor Amiji, university distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering; Eno E. Ebong, associate professor and associate chair for graduate studies in chemical engineering; and Yun Raymond Fu an interdisciplinary professor with the College of Engineering and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences.

They are among 162 fellows in this year’s class who were recognized during an induction ceremony on Monday, March 25, in Arlington, Virginia.

The AIMBE College of Fellows draws from the upper 2% of biomedical engineers. Their numbers include three Nobel Prize laureates and 22 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation.

Amiji was nominated and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows “for pioneering contributions to nucleic acid delivery for treating a range of conditions using novel biomaterials and advanced nanotechnology systems.”

The recognition is “almost like gasoline in an engine that continues to drive us forward to try to continue this innovative work,” Amiji says.

“We try to find solutions to the problem of how to get drugs to the right place in the body,” says Amiji, whose work includes nanotechnology applications in biology and medicine.

“One area of interest in the lab is how to make hard-to-deliver molecules reach their target sites and engage in doing the job,” he says.

Amiji says being named an AIMBE fellow is “an incredible honor” but one that belongs just as much to the current and past post-docs as well as graduate and undergraduate students he has worked with in his 31 years at Northeastern.

“They really deserve all the credit in the world,” Amiji says. “It’s a testament to their hard work and their dedication to science to the field of research they were, and are, involved in.”

Ebong was elected to AIMBE’s College of Fellows “for outstanding contributions to the field of vascular and endothelial cellular mechanobiology, focused on glycocalyx-mediated health and disease mechanisms.”

“The fundamental goal of my research is to try to understand mechanisms that underlie disease involving cells and molecules,” Ebong says.

Her research concerns the mechanics of the cardiovascular system as expressed in endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls.

“The molecule that we study is a group of sugars called glycocalyx. They coat the surrounding cells and help them sense their environment,” Ebong says.

Studying how glycocalyx molecules sense blood vessel mechanics such as flow patterns can help researchers understand cell responses that can lead to diseases such as arteriosclerosis, she says.

Ebong calls the AIMBE fellowship “quite an honor” and says it recognizes not only her contributions to research but also her advocacy on behalf of those pursuing careers in biomedical engineering.

“It encourages me to do more,” she says.

Fu was elected to AIMBE’s College of Fellows “for outstanding contributions to innovative artificial intelligence technologies for biomedical image analysis and pioneering leadership in technology translation and commercialization.”

“My background is in artificial intelligence. I have been at Northeastern for 12 years and work on all kinds of topics relevant to AI, such as image processing, computer vision and machine learning,” Fu says.

“My lab is actively commercializing some of the inventions and outcomes from our research activity.”

A Northeastern spinoff company he is involved with, AInnovation Labs, develops cameras for remote rehabilitation that measure how often patients such as cancer survivors are in motion to encourage them to get up and exercise.

“The cameras don’t record anything of the patient or user — they only track their motion. The motion will be used as an indicator of their daily activity,” Fu says.

Already a member and fellow of European and American science academies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fu says the AIMBE recognition is special due to its focus on medical and biological engineering.

“It’s a very niche area, but it has the highest impact for me,” he says.

The inclusion this year of three fellows from the university “is also great news for Northeastern,” Fu says.

Twelve other Northeastern faculty members have been inducted into AIMBE’s College of Fellows since 2000, including three last year.

Most of AIMBE’s 2,000-plus fellows come from the United States, but their ranks also include people from 30 different countries.

Employed in academia, industry, clinical practice and government, AIMBE fellows are recognized for their excellence and for advancing public understanding of and accelerating innovation in medical and biological engineering.