Board of Advisors

Peter G. Katona

Peter G. Katona, Sc.D. received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1960, and his M.S. and ScD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962 and 1965, respectively. He was on the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University from 1969 to 1991, and served as chairman of his department from 1980 to 1988. During 1989-91 he was Program Director for Biomedical Engineering and Aiding the Disabled at the National Science Foundation. In 1991, Dr. Katona joined The Whitaker Foundation as Vice President for Biomedical Engineering. His responsibility was to design and administer grant programs that would enhance and establish educational programs in biomedical engineering at US universities. In July 2000, he was appointed President and CEO, a position he held until the Foundation’s closing in June 2006. He was appointed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University in September 2006.

Dr. Katona is the author of over 50 scientific papers on the control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. He is also the author of several papers on biomedical engineering as a profession. He served as president of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 1984-85, and is now a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the cardiovascular section of the American Physiological Society. He served on numerous advisory committees of academic, government, and private organizations. Dr. Katona is the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2005, and the Pierre Galletti Award from AIMBE in 2006.

Robert M. Nerem

Robert M. Nerem, Ph.D. joined Georgia Tech in 1987 as the Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine. He currently serves as the Director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, and he also is the Director of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center (GTEC) for the Engineering of Living Tissues, an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in 1964 from Ohio State University and was on the faculty there until 1979. From 1979 to 1986 he was at the University of Houston where he was chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Nerem is the author of more than 200 publications.

He is a Fellow and was the founding President of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (1992-1994), and he is past President of the Tissue Engineering Society International. In addition, he was the part-time Senior Advisor for Bioengineering in the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health (2003-2006). In 1988 Professor Nerem was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and he has served on the NAE Council (1998-2004). In 1992 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and in 1998 a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Nerem serves on the scientific advisory board of AtheroGenics, Inc. (Alpharetta, GA) and Tengion (Winston Salem, NC) Research interests include biomechanics, cardiovascular devices, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and stem cell technology.

Mehmet Toner

Mehmet Toner, Ph.D. is a Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and is a member of the Senior Scientific Staff at the Shriners Hospital for Children. Dr. Toner is also a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Toner serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Teaching Hospitals and Director of the BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems (BioMEMS) Resource Center at the MGH. He is also the Director of the Biomedical Engineering Research and Education Program for physicians at Harvard Teaching Hospitals.

Dr. Toner served as a Visiting Professor at Rutgers University and is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Colorado. Dr. Toner is a member of many national and international professional committees, and serves on the editorial board of many scientific journals. Dr. Toner has served on several national and international panels and review boards, including National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Sections, National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award panels, NSF Nanoscience panel, NIH Nanotechnology and Tissue Engineering panel, NIH Reparative Medicine Bioengineering Consortium, and several DARPA strategic planning panels. In 1994, he was recognized by the YC Fung Faculty Award in Bioengineering from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 1995, he received the Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunity Award. In 1997, he won the John F and Virginia B. Taplin Faculty Fellow Award given by Harvard and MIT. In 1998, Dr. Toner was selected to become a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Toner serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of multiple biotechnology and medical device companies, and has been involved in several startup companies. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Toner earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Istanbul Technical University and a M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently he completed his Ph.D. degree in Medical Engineering at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1989. Dr. Toner’s research interests include biostabilization, tissue engineering, and microsystems bioengineering. Dr. Toner has received funding from NIH, NSF, DARPA, Whitaker Foundation, National Textile Center, and many industrial outfits. He has published over 160 scientific publications and has delivered over 250 invited and scientific meeting presentations.

Martin L. Yarmush

Martin L. Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized bioengineer and biophysical chemist, whose research interests span a wide range of topics from tissue engineering and artificial organ development to gene therapy and metabolic engineering. Winner of over 25 local and national research awards for his work in science and engineering and co-author of more than 270 publications, Dr. Yarmush also currently serves as:

  • Editor-in-chief of the “Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering”
    and a book series on Engineering in Medicine
  • Associate Editor of “Metabolic Engineering”
  • Section editor in “Science and Medicine”.

Dr. Yarmush has also served on the advisory boards of several foundations (e.g. the Whitaker Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation), several academic-based centers, and several biotechnology and biomedical engineering based industrial firms. Dr. Yarmush received B.A. degrees in biology and chemistry at Yeshiva University, a Ph.D. degree from the Rockefeller University in biophysical chemistry. He spent a postdoctoral year at the NIH in the NIAID Laboratory of Immunogenetics before going to Yale University for his M.D. degree (cum laude). After three years at Yale, he entered the Ph.D. program in Chemical Engineering at MIT where he completed all requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering excluding thesis submission.

Over the last 23 years, Dr. Yarmush has advised and mentored more than 120 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and has taught a spectrum of courses from molecular genetics and immunology to thermodynamics and transport phenomena. A frequent plenary speaker at major national and international conferences, Dr. Yarmush is known as one of the pioneers of molecular and cellular bioengineering who has distinguished himself by seminal contributions to the fields of liver and skin tissue engineering, applied immunology and metabolic engineering. Dr. Yarmush currently serves as Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.