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American Institute of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering Names Two U.Va. Engineering Faculty Members as Fellows

March 14, 2001-- The American Institute of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering has elected two University of Virginia professors as fellows. They are Klaus Ley (right), and Thomas C. Skalak (mouse over image), both professors of biomedical engineering.

The institute recognized Ley for his outstanding contributions to the study of the mechanics of adhesion molecules and their role in inflammation and atherosclerosis. The institute cited Skalak for his work on microvascular mechanics, vascular adaptation, and mathematical modeling of the microcirculatory networks.

"Klaus Ley and Tom Skalak have been instrumental in making the Department of Biomedical Engineering one of the best in the nation," says Richard Miksad, dean of U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science. "They are both tireless researchers and inspiring teachers."

Ley's research focuses on the role of selectins, an adhesion molecule involved in the recruitment of cells from the blood stream, part of the inflammation process. He has studied the differences between the three types of selectins and their role in leukocyte, or white blood cell, selection during inflammation. He also is interested in understanding the role of selectins and other adhesion molecules in the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. He also is researching the role of selectin and integrin, another adhesion molecule, in metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells by adhering to tissue throughout the body.

Skalak's work centers on microvascular network remodeling. The microvessel network is critical to cardiovascular health, delivering oxygen and nutrients and removing metabolic waste. This highly adaptable system can remodel itself in response to mechanical and biochemical stimuli. A central thrust of Skalak's research is understanding vascular adaptation to environmental conditions and vascular diseases. He is interested in remodeling as a function of mechanical stresses, vascular pattern formation, and engineering of wound prevention and repair.

Both Ley and Skalak have published widely. Ley has produced more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 13 book chapters. He edited "Physiology of Inflammation," a comprehensive text on the mechanisms of inflammation. A medical doctor, he holds a joint appointment with U.Va.'s Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.

Skalak has produced more than 60 publications, five book chapters, and one book, "Microvascular Mechanics," with J. S. Lee. He has organized and chaired numerous scientific sessions and was president of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2000.

For more information on the work of these professors, see the Biomedical Engineering Website (http://www.med.virginia.edu/bme/faculty.html.)

Contact: Fariss Samarrai, (804) 924-3778

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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