Winkelstein and Lukes named 2012 Penn Fellows
Beth Winkelstein, professor in Bioengineering, and Jennifer Lukes, associate professor in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, are part of a distinguished group of eight University of Pennsylvania faculty members to have been named Penn Fellows for 2012. The announcement was made by Provost Vincent Price and Lynn Hollen Lees, vice provost for faculty.
The Penn Fellows program, begun in 2009, provides leadership development to select Penn faculty members in mid-career. It includes opportunities to build cross-campus alliances, meet distinguished academic leaders, think strategically about universities and university governance and consult with Penn's senior administrators.
The broad goal of Winkelstein's research is to understand the mechanisms of injury that produce whiplash, sports-related, and other painful injuries. By combining biomechanical and immunological techniques, her lab can define the relationships between injury to the cervical spine/neck and physiological cascades of persistent pain. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding injury to individual structures in the neck, such as the facet joints, nerve roots and spinal cord and how mechanical loading to these structures elicits pain. Through this work she can begin to develop thresholds for mechanical injury that produce persistent pain; and work towards a definition of the neck's tolerance for painful injury.
Lukes' research focuses primarily on understanding the unusual thermal transport phenomena that emerge in nanostructures and nanostructured materials, such as single wall carbon nanotubes, superlattices, nanowires, ultrathin films, and nanocomposites. She also investigates confinement effects on fluid and mass transport on the nanoscale. Lukes' expertise is in atomistic computer modeling of transport phenomena using molecular dynamics simulation. Applying a combination of modeling and experimental techniques, her group is developing innovative approaches to design materials with desired structures and thermophysical properties.