UCR bioengineering professor becomes AIMBE fellow

Author: Jules Bernstein
April 24, 2024

UCR bioengineering professor Huinan Liu has become a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, or AIMBE, one of her field’s highest honors.

Professor Huinan Liu (center) receiving her AIMBE fellowship award.

Only the top two percent of medical and biological engineers from more than 30 countries are nominated, reviewed, and elected by their peers for induction into the institute’s College of Fellows. Membership in the college honors “those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering and medicine research, practice, or education,” according to the institute’s website.

Liu’s laboratory is focused on the development of new, biodegradable materials that aid with the healing and reconstruction of tissues, including brain cells, that have been damaged by injury, trauma, or disease. AIMBE recognized her for this work, as well as her efforts to bring new talent into the field.

More than 70% of Liu’s undergraduate researchers have pursued graduate or medical school. That same percentage of her researchers are considered minority, economically disadvantaged, or first-generation students. For her distinguished record of working with these populations, Liu received the 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement.

Additionally, Liu is the principal investigator of a new UCR training program that helps undergraduates transition into regenerative medicine careers, infusing the Inland Empire with expertise in cutting-edge trauma and disease treatments. The RAMP program received $2.9 million in 2023 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

A formal AIMBE College of Fellows induction ceremony was held in Arlington, Virginia, on March 25. Liu was inducted along with 162 colleagues who make up this year’s class of fellows.

Liu said that this honor is meaningful for her on many levels.

“I sincerely appreciate this recognition from AIMBE and the colleagues who nominated me,” Liu said. “The fellowship will enable me to further advocate for engineering education and research opportunities for all, including underrepresented groups and communities.”

AIMBE fellows are among the most distinguished medical and biological engineers, including three Nobel Prize laureates and 22 Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation awardees. Many fellows have also been inducted to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.