Professor Lori SettonLori Setton
Lucy and Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor
of Biomedical Engineering

Arthritis, herniated discs, and other musculoskeletal conditions can be debilitating, greatly diminishing quality of life. By blending her vast knowledge of and experience with mechanics, materials, and cell biology, Lori Sutton is designing and evaluating novel materials for tissue regeneration and drug delivery to treat these painful disorders.

Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Sutton joined Washington University’s faculty in 2015. Past president of the Biomedical Engineering Society, she received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 1997 and has been recognized with several awards for excellence in mentoring.

Setton has mentored more than 40 doctoral and postdoctoral trainees. “My greatest accomplishment is graduating many, many students,” she says. “I now enjoy seeing them spread their knowledge and influence nationally.”

Vijay K. Ramani
Roma B. & Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor of Environment and Energy

A world-renowned and widely published expert in electrochemical engineering and renewable energy integration, Vijay K. Ramani is working to solve some of the planet’s greatest energy crises. He and his research group have made significant progress advancing grid-scale energy storage through redox flow batteries, which will allow for broader use of renewable and intermittent energy sources around the globe. His other research aims to develop electrochemical propulsion systems for commercial and military undersea vehicles.

Ramani has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering since 2016. He also holds a faculty appointment with the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability and directs the Center for Solar Energy and Energy Storage. As a Faculty Fellow for Entrepreneurship for the Danforth Campus, he helps colleagues in McKelvey Engineering and beyond translate their ideas into practice.

Professor Michael Brent

Michael Brent
Henry Edwin Sever Professor of Engineering

A professor of computer science and leader in the field of computational genomics, Michael Brent works at the intersection of computer science, biomedical engineering, biology, and biostatistics. His lab is mapping gene-regulation networks, the circuits that control gene expression in cells. He and his group aim to ultimately alter cell behavior, which could be useful for stem cell research, gene therapy, and biofuel production.

Brent joined the faculty in 1999 with joint appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the engineering school and the School of Medicine’s Department of Genetics. He leads the university’s Genome Analysis Training Program, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The program is building the next generation of investigators to make new discoveries in genome science and technology that can improve patient outcomes. In 2018, Brent was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows, which represents the top 2% of bioengineers in the country.

Professor Lan Yang

Lan Yang
Edwin H. and Florence G. Skinner Professor

Lan Yang applied for her first patent as a graduate student. An internationally recognized photonics researcher, she now holds the most patents and disclosures of any female faculty member at Washington University. “Patents are a good way to push forward,” Yang says. “It’s not just protection. It’s an incentive to motivate others to commercialize new technologies.”

A faculty member in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering since 2007, Yang guides her trainees toward the practical applications of their work. “I learned from my mentor that I need to have a sense of mission and a duty as a researcher,” says one of Yang’s doctoral students, who came to Washington University to study with her. “We do research to help people.”

For the last 10 years, Yang has been developing technology that harnesses light to gain information about its surroundings. Used in different instruments, these highly sensitive photonic sensors could detect anything from poisonous gases to bloodborne diseases.