Dr. Derrick Dean, Professor of Engineering at Alabama State University, has been selected as the 2018 Clark Way Harrison Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He will serve his visiting professorship within the Washington University Department of Biology from April through July 2018.

As Primary Investigator of ASU’s Integrated Bio-Engineering & Advanced Materials (I-BEAM) Center, Dean has conducted leading research in the development of micro- and nanostructured polymer composites, which are used in a variety of fields ranging from tissue engineering, drug delivery, aerospace, and the automotive industry. Dean’s research lab specializes in using nano- and microfabrication techniques to develop multifunctional materials for biological and non-biological applications.

Dean’s relationship with Washington University in St. Louis arises through collaboration in the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, of which both Washington University and Alabama State University are partner institutions.  The CEMB’s mechanobiology research lies at the intersection of life sciences, engineering, plant science, and physics, and has as its mission the drive to develop a new discipline and a new generation of scientific leaders to understand and control forces in living systems.

While visiting the university, Dean will conduct joint research with other CEMB investigators at Washington University: Ram Dixit, Elizabeth Haswell, and Lucia Strader of the Department of Biology; Anders Carlsson of the Department of Physics; Marcus Foston of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering; and Guy Genin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Co-Director of the CEMB.

During his visiting professorship at Washington University, Dean will teach a course in three dimensional plant and animal tissue scaffolds.