BioMedSA Announces the Winner of the 2020 Innovation Award in Healthcare and Bioscience

BioMedSA has selected Dr. Rena Bizios, the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio to receive the 2020 Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience. She is a globally-recognized researcher making groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of cell-material interactions at the tissue/implant interface with applications in implant biomaterials, tissue engineering, and tissue regeneration.

Bizio’s Research Has Improved Fields in Biomedical Engineering

Bizios, a chemical/biomedical engineer by training, joined the faculty at UTSA in 2006, and her research has focused on cellular and tissue engineering, tissue regeneration, biomaterials (including nanostructured biomaterials), and biocompatibility. Her work has been used to develop a generation of biomaterial implants and principles that are applied today in multiple medical devices used to rehabilitate musculoskeletal tissues and promote tissue regeneration. In addition, her research into nanoparticle interaction with cells and tissues has led to the development of a plethora of applications for nanomaterials ranging from drug delivery to stimulating specific biological responses.

Bizios Is Both A Leader and Inspiration

Furthermore, she literally wrote the book on tissue–biomaterial interactions, the text-book standard used around the world for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in the biomaterials field.
“It is clear that Rena Bizios has made an enormous impact on the field of biomedical engineering,” noted BioMedSA President Heather Hanson. “Her research has opened the door for numerous medical applications that improve patient care. Furthermore, as a female researcher and educator who started her career when women simply were not widely seen in the field of biomedical engineering, she has been an influential leader and inspirational mentor for her students.”

Exemplifying Research Excellence And Scholarly Output

“Dr. Bizios’ achievements have influenced not only the industry, but also a generation of students who have benefitted from her mentorship,” commented Dr. Bernard Arulanandam, VP for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise at UTSA, who nominated her for this award. “She exemplifies research excellence and scholarly output.”

Bizios has authored and co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed papers, co-authored one textbook and co-edited one book regarding tissue-biomaterial interactions, and is co-inventor of granted patents/disclosures.

Bizios’ peers have recognized her contributions to education and her research accomplishments With Numerous Honors:

  • Rensselaer Alumni Association Teaching Award;
  • Clemson Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Literature, Society for Biomaterials;
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology;
  • Women’s Initiatives Mentorship Excellence Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers;
  • Founders Award, Society for Biomaterials;
  • Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award, Biomedical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education;
  • Amber Award, The UTSA Ambassadors, University of Texas at San Antonio;
  • Election as Charter Member of the Academy of Distinguished Researchers, the University of Texas at San Antonio;
  • AIMBE Excellence in STEM Education Award, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering;
  • The Excellence in Biomaterials Science Award, Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation.

Bizios is a Fellow of several professional societies:

  • The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering,
  • International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering,
  • Biomedical Engineering Society,
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers,
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  •  The National Academy of Medicine,
  • The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas,
  • International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering,
  • Academy of Athens, Greece,
  • The National Academy of Inventors.

She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1968 – BS in chemical engineering), California Institute of Technology (1971 – MS in chemical engineering), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979 – Ph.D. in biomedical engineering).

A Few Words From Bizios

“I am honored to receive this recognition, especially coming from BioMedSA and San Antonio where I call home,” commented Dr. Bizios. “I am humbled to be included as an honoree with this group of prestigious recipients.”


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