New gene-editing system enables large-scale studies of gene function.
Professors John Belcher, Alan J. Grodzinsky, Roger D. Kamm and Judith Tendler and Associate Professor Linda G. Griffith have been named Class of 1960 Fellows for a two-year term that began July 1. The team was selected for the Class of 1960 Innovation in Education Award for its contribution to the School of Engineering and to the Institute for the creation of the Biomedical Engineering Minor Program.
Professor Belcher came to MIT in January 1971 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Interplanetary Plasma Group and was named an assistant professor that fall. He was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and professor in the Astrophysics Division of the Department of Physics in 1982. He is also affiliated with the Center for Space Research.
Professor Belcher's research interests are concerned with interplanetary and astrophysical plasmas and theories of stellar winds and stellar spindowns. He has received NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medals for work relating to the Jovian magnetosphere and to Voyager's plasma science experiment during the 1990 Neptune encounter.
In the teaching realm, Professor Belcher has been recognized for his program (which he continues to work on with Professors Markus Zahn and another colleague) using computer graphics to help students understand electromagnetism. He holds the BA (1965) from Rice University and the PhD from the California Institute of Technology (1970).
Dr. Grodzinsky (SB, SM 1971, ScD 1974) is professor of electrical, mechanical and bioengineering and director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering with a joint appointment in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health. He studies the influence of mechanical, chemical and electrical forces on connective tissue metabolism, growth, remodeling, repair and pathology. He also investigates tissue, cellular and molecular biomechanics; diagnostics and therapeutics for arthritis; and the fundamental study and modeling of electrical, mechanical and chemical energy transduction in biological cells, tissues and bio-materials.
Dr. Kamm (SM 1973, PhD 1977) is a professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. He received the BS in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University in 1972 and the SM in 1973 and the PhD in 1977, both from MIT. His research interests include cardiovascular fluid dynamics, respiratory mechanics and fluid dynamics and biomaterials. He also studies the effects of mechanical stress on the cellular response in diseases such as asthma and atherosclerosis, and the adaptive remodeling that occurs as a consequence of the stress.
Dr. Tendler is professor of political economy and a development economist with an institutional bent. Her research interests lie in the study of better-performing government and NGO programs, and her publications have had an important impact on the thinking about government performance in developing countries and in the international development community. In 1998, her latest book, Good Government in the Tropics, was named one of the year's top 10 business books by Boston Globe syndicated economics columnist David Warsh.
Professor Tendler, an MIT faculty member since 1984, won MIT's 1986 Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement in Education for combining research with teaching in a series of evaluation-research projects funded by government agencies in Brazil. The Class of 1960 award noted her "superbly innovative and effective work in educating graduate students under field conditions," and she is the first faculty member of the School of Architecture and Planning to receive the award.
Dr. Griffith, associate professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, received two degrees in chemical engineering -- the BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982 and the PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. She develops biomaterials that control cell behavior via receptor-mediated phenomena, analyzes rate-limited steps in tissue regeneration, and designs and fabricates hierarchically structured devices for in vitro and in vivo tissue reconstruction.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 29, 1999.