Associate director named for Penn State Center for Biodevices


By Ashley J. WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Center for Biodevices has a new associate director who will further cement its cross-disciplinary goals: Gregory Lewis, associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, with courtesy appointments in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and engineering science and mechanics. Lewis, who is based at Penn State College of Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, will also continue in his role as the center’s leader for implantable devices research.

“Much of today’s science and technological progress occurs at the interface of multiple disciplines,” said Lewis, who earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Penn State. “Penn State is a leader in many engineering fields based at University Park, and there is a wealth of clinical science expertise at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine. Although the hundred miles between our campuses has traditionally been an obstacle, recently researchers are becoming more comfortable with distant collaborations. We believe the center can catalyze exciting opportunities for faculty, students and our partners to leverage the vast expertise across all Penn State campuses and increase Penn State’s leadership in these fields.”

The center, established in 2020, aims to bridge the foundational science and clinical applications of biodevices with research thrusts in surgical devices, wearable devices, implantable devices and sensing and diagnostic devices. Every year, the center hosts an “Outcomes Day,” during which center members and industry partners present the results of their collaborative work and discuss future opportunities.

“In his role as associate director, Greg will take the lead on industry relations for the center, including coordinating with industry members and pursuing external support for the center through, for example, federal grants,” said Mary Frecker, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the center. “Greg will also continue to help organize our events. Last year, he organized a panel on how to secure NIH [National Institutes of Health] funding that was very well-received.”

At this year’s event on Sept. 23, Lewis will moderate a panel on creating successful multidisciplinary collaborations across Penn State’s campuses.

“The Center for Biodevices includes fields that uniquely rely on the convergence of engineering and clinical disciplines, in addition to the biomedical sciences,” Lewis said. “The center addresses an important need for Penn State — integrating the biodevice-related research and education efforts across departments, colleges and campuses.”

As associate director, Lewis works closely with the center’s industry advisory board with the goal of developing a structure for the center and industry to better collaborate in their research efforts. He is also pursuing opportunities to support the center through national funding agencies, as well as working to enhance cross-campus educational opportunities for Penn State students.

“We’re working to accomplish a lot, but luckily, in addition to the industry advisory board, we have an outstanding executive faculty team from across the University that includes multiple departments, colleges and campuses,” Lewis said.


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