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Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineer Wins Sloan Fellowship

February 15, 2012
Media Contact: Phil Sneiderman
Office: (443) 287-9960; Cell: 410-299-7462

Biomedical engineer Feilim Mac Gabhann of The Johns Hopkins University has won a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship to support his combined experimental-computational approach to developing new ways to treat major human diseases, including cancer, peripheral artery disease and HIV.

Feilim Mac Gabhann

Feilim Mac Gabhann

Administered by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, these fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise by offering grants, each totaling $50,000, distributed over a two-year period.  Mac Gabhann is one of 126 young scientists and economists selected to receive the award this year in recognition of their potential to contribute to academic advancement. Since the Sloan Foundation began awarding fellowships in 1955, 38 recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes in their careers.

“I was really delighted to receive this recognition,” said Mac Gabhann, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and a core faculty member of the university’s Institute for Computational Medicine in the Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine. “I’m particularly happy because it reflects not just on the work that I’m doing but also on the great work being done by my lab members, both the students and the postdocs.”

Mac Gabhann, who is from Ireland, received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University College Dublin in 1997 and earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 2006. He continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia then joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2009.

Mac Gabhann’s current research involves both computer models and biological lab studies. One of his goals is to use genetic and physiological data to differentiate subgroups of patients who respond differently to therapies. This could help personalize medical care so that individual patients receive the treatment that is most likely to yield favorable results.

Earlier this year, Mac Gabhann was selected as the recipient of the American Physiological Society’s 2012 Arthur C. Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology.

“Feilim is a young star who is merging the fields of computational modeling and fundamental biology; he is breaking new ground in modeling growth factor networks and tissue morphogenesis,” said Elliot McVeigh, Massey Professor and Director of Johns Hopkins’ Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Biology, math and computer science are becoming inexorably linked, and young faculty like Feilim are driving this change forward.”

Raimond L. Winslow, director of the Institute for Computational Medicine, added, “Dr. Mac Gabhann’s work is a perfect example of the emerging discipline of computational medicine, in which experimentally based computational models of disease processes are used to obtain novel insights on disease mechanisms, and to reveal new therapies that are tailored to the needs of the individual. Biological systems, in both health and disease, are too complex to be understood without quantitative models that capture what we truly know about these systems, and that guide us through the highly complex landscape of biology.  Dr. Mac Gabhann’s work is at the leading edge of computational medicine.”

In a news release announcing the 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship recipients, Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation said, “These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The Foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers.”

A digital color image of Mac Gabhann is available: contact Phil Sneiderman.

Related links:

Feilim Mac Gabhann’s Web page: http://icm.jhu.edu/people/index.php?id=177

2012 Sloan Fellowship Announcement: http://www.sloan.org/assets/files/press_releases/2012_srf_press_release_vf.pdf

Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.jhu.edu/

Institute for Computational Medicine: http://icm.jhu.edu


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