Dennis Discher Elected to National Academy Of Medicine

Dennis E. DischerDennis E. Discher, Robert D. Bent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) , one of the nation's highest honors in biomedicine.

NAM was originally the Institute of Medicine, which was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected to the NAM by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. 

The NAM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on NAM committees and boards and in other activities.

Discher joined Penn in 1996 following postdoctoral work in computational biophysics as a U.S. National Science Foundation International Fellow at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. He received his PhD jointly from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, for studies of cell membrane physics and spliceform biochemistry.

He holds secondary appointments in Bioengineering and in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and is a member of Graduate Groups in Cell and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, and Physics. His research has focused on stem cell differentiation in relation to physicochemical properties of microenvironments, which differ greatly between tissues and in injury and disease.  His group uses engineered polymer systems in studies that have extended to questions on drug carriers, particularly the roles of nanoscale features and immune system interactions.

Discher was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the National Science Foundation in 1999, and was elected in 2012 to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  He is the Principal Investigator at Penn of an NCI-funded Physical Sciences Oncology Center, which fosters research into new physical principles in cancer development, and straddles the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the School of Arts and Science. Discher has authored more than 200 widely cited publications in journals that range from Science and Cell to Physical Review Letters, Nature Materials, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Interested? Learn more!

Read the NAM Press Release
Dennis Discher’s Faculty Profile

Laboratory Research Website

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