Monday, July 27, 2015

UTSA biomedical engineer Rena Bizios receives highest honors in her field

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(Aug. 6, 2014) -- Rena Bizios, a Peter T. Flawn Professor in the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering, recently received two prestigious awards for her life-long contributions to the biomaterials field and to biomedical engineering education.

The first, the 2014 Founders Award of the Society for Biomaterials, is the highest recognition for life contributions by a leading scientist/engineer in the biomaterials field. Bizios was recognized for seminal contributions in cell-material interactions, protein/cell interactions with nanostructured materials, cellular engineering, and for identifying the effects of select biophysical stimuli on new tissue formation at the cellular/molecular levels.

Bizios' second honor, is the 2014 Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award from the Biomedical Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. She was honored for her contributions to education, leadership, and research in biomedical engineering.

During her career in academia, she has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering courses and co-authored a landmark undergraduate textbook, "An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions."

The textbook is a standard in the biomaterials field and has been adopted for upper-class undergraduate and beginning graduate courses by several biomedical engineering programs in the United States and abroad. She also has advised generations of undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering students and has mentored graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty.

Bizios is a leading authority on cellular engineering and cell interactions with biomaterials. During her career, she has contributed to the design of materials that control, modulate and direct various cellular and molecular responses at the cell/material interface. She developed and established several assays to test the cytocompatibility of materials using cultured-cell models and to determine the cellular/molecular level conditions needed to promote new tissue formation.

She also pioneered research about protein and cell interactions on new biomaterial formulations, specifically nanoceramics and nanocomposites, which have unique biocompatibility and improved mechanical and electrical properties. Her research includes pioneering studies on the effect of pressure on functions of cells pertinent to the physiology and pathology of soft tissues and on the use of mechanical and electrical stimuli to promote bone and tissue engineering.

Bizios has published her research and is frequently invited to speak at universities, to industry and at national and international conferences.

Her professional career includes generous and long-standing service to engineering at the departmental, university, regional, national and international levels. She has served on numerous committees and held elected officer positions in several societies including the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Society for Biomaterials, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

She is an elected fellow of five professional societies, specifically, AIMBE, Society for Biomaterials, BMES, AIChE and the American Society for the Advancement of Science.

Bizios earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), a Master of Chemical Engineering Degree from the California Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from M.I.T.

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Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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