Bioengineer David J. Mooney elected to the Institute of Medicine

Membership is one of the highest honors in the field of medicine

October 21, 2013

Cambridge, Mass. – October 21, 2013 – David J. Mooney, Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, is among seven Harvard affiliates newly elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. Election to the IOM is one of the highest honors in the field of medicine in the United States.

The IOM is an organization with more than 1,900 members and foreign associates that recognizes individuals who have made seminal contributions to medicine, healthcare, and public health. Its members serve on committees and boards that advise government agencies, policy makers, and professionals on healthcare issues. Mooney joins 70 new members and ten foreign associates elected this year.

Mooney is being honored for his pioneering work in the tissue-engineering field, and his substantial contributions to the fields of biomaterials, drug delivery, and mechanotransduction. In addition, his recent work in therapeutic cancer vaccines could transform the treatment of cancer.

"I'm deeply honored to be elected to this illustrious organization and join such an extraordinary group of medical scientists and physicians," Mooney said.

"The boundaries between engineering, life sciences, and medicine are blurring in ways that are leading to new knowledge and innovative new therapies for patients," said Cherry A. Murray, dean of Harvard SEAS, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and professor of physics. "Dave, who was [also] elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010, is not only a path-breaking applied scientist at the forefront of the cross-disciplinary field of engineering the body's own immune system; he is also a great teacher and mentor."

At the Wyss Institute, Mooney leads the Programmable Nanomaterials Platform. Scientists in that platform create therapeutic biomaterials that seek out injury sites, deliver drugs, and promote tissue repair.

"Dave has made seminal contributions to biomaterials science and tissue engineering, including the development of a therapeutic cancer vaccine that recently entered human clinical trials," said Wyss Institute founding director Donald E. Ingber. "We're proud of his accomplishments and extremely pleased to have him as a core faculty member and platform leader at the Institute."

Ingber is also a professor of bioengineering at Harvard SEAS and Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston.

Mooney is among seven Harvard affiliates newly elected to the IOM; the others are:

  • Ashish K. Jha, professor, health policy and management, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH);
  • Michelle M. Mello, professor of law and public health, department of health policy and management, HSPH;
  • Mark A. Schuster, William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (HMS); and chief of general pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital;
  • Christopher A. Walsh, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; chief, division of genetics and genomics, Boston Children's Hospital; and Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, HMS;
  • Katrina Alison Armstrong, physician in chief, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine, HMS; and
  • Judy E. Garber, director, center for cancer genetics and prevention, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and professor of medicine, HMS.

The new members will be formally inducted to the IOM at next year's annual meeting in October 2014.

Adapted from releases by the Wyss Institute and the IOM.