Profile: Developing Novel Solutions to Improve Patient Care


Lonnie Shea, a professor and chair in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at the Univ. of Michigan, is an internationally recognized researcher whose work spans the fields of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and gene and drug delivery. His research seeks to advance technologies and solutions at the interface of engineering and medicine. “I am fortunate to be at the Univ. of Michigan, which has a top-10 engineering school and a top-10 medical school,” says Shea, “with both schools placing a high value on research.”

Shea received a BS and MS in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve Univ. and a PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from the Univ. of Michigan. He held a postdoctoral position in the Dept. of Biologic and Materials Science in the Dental School at the Univ. of Michigan.

He became interested in regenerative engineering and systems biology during his postdoc. “I was an engineer working on the second floor, the biologists were working one floor away, and the clinicians were right around the corner,” recalls Shea. Within a month of starting his postdoc, he realized the opportunities for collaboration between medical researchers, clinicians, and engineers to develop successful treatment options for patients. “In this case, dentistry happens to be a field where materials are very prominent — think fillings, crowns, implants — so there is a great appreciation for materials, and...

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