Affiliated Society: Society for Biomaterials
Country of Residence: USA
Current Position: Professor
Rena Bizios is the Peter T. Flawn Chair Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (UTSA). She earned her B.S. (Cum Laude) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA), M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA), and Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA). She has pursued an academic career. Professor Bizios has taught various undergraduate and graduate fundamental engineering and biomedical engineering courses as well as developed new courses for biomedical engineering curricula. She has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. She has co-authored a textbook (entitled An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions), co-edited a book (Biological Interactions on Material Surfaces: Understanding and Controlling Protein, Cell and Tissue Responses), authored/co-authored scientific publications and book chapters, and is co-inventor of several patents/disclosures. She has given numerous presentations at scientific conferences and invited seminars/lectures at universities and industry. She also organized and co-chaired numerous symposia/sessions at regional/national/international conferences. Professor Bizios is a member, and has been an active participant (including elected officer positions) in several professional societies. She is a member of the editorial board of five scientific/engineering journals. Professor Bizios has participated in various national-level review committees and has also served on numerous departmental, School/College of Engineering and Institute/University committees. Professor Bizios’ contributions to education and her research accomplishments have been recognized by the: Rensselaer Alumni Association Teaching Award (1997); Clemson Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Literature, Society for Biomaterials (1998); Distinguished Scientist Award, Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology (2009); Women’s Initiatives Mentorship Excellence Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2010); Founders Award, Society for Biomaterials (2014); Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award, Biomedical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education (2014); UTSA Ambassadors Amber Award (2014); and election as Charter Member, UTSA Academy of Distinguished Researchers (2015). Professor Bizios is Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, International Union of the Societies for Biomaterials Sciences and Engineering, Society of Biomedical Engineering, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also member of the National Academy of Medicine of the United States and of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.
Areas of research interest:
Professor Rena Bizios’ research interests include cellular bioengineering, cell and protein interactions with biomaterials, biomaterials (including nanostructured ones), biocompatibility, tissue regeneration, tissue engineering, and mechanisms of cell responses to stimuli (chemical, mechanical, electrical). Her research has used cultured mammalian cells, various biochemical/biological assays, and novel, custom-made laboratory set-ups to address (at the cellular, molecular, and gene levels) fundamental questions regarding functions of cells from select soft and hard connective tissues. In vitro studies investigated cell interactions with implant materials (including nanostructured ones), chemical modification of substrate material surfaces, as well as the effects of biochemical cues (e.g., growth factors) and select biophysical stimuli (specifically, sustained and cyclic pressure, and electric current) to promote cell (including stem cell) functions pertinent to new tissue formation. In addition to elucidating fundamental scientific aspects relevant to cellular/biomedical engineering, the results of these research endeavors have the potential of applications in tissue engineering and biotechnology and of contributions to the medical milieu.
Protein and Cells at Interfaces