VCU professors selected for elite engineering group

P. Worth Longest, Ph.D., at left, and Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D.
P. Worth Longest, Ph.D., at left, and Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D.

Two Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering professors are joining an elite group of top biomedical engineers.

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering will induct Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D., and P. Worth Longest, Ph.D., into its prestigious College of Fellows, which comprises the nation’s top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers.

“We are so proud of Drs. Donahue and Longest for their outstanding research and contributions,” said Dean Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D. “It’s gratifying to see them earn the recognition they so richly deserve.”

Their induction brings the school’s total number of AIMBE Fellows to seven. Previous inductees are Boyan; Gerald Miller, Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Factors and Rehabilitation Engineering; Xuejun Wen, Ph.D., the William H. Goodwin Professor in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering; Jennifer S. Wayne, Ph.D., professor, associate chair and graduate program director, Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Zvi Schwartz, Ph.D., associate dean for strategic initiatives and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

All of us are focusing our teaching and research on helping people live better lives.

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research and innovation.

Members of the College of Fellows and peers selected Donahue, who holds the School of Engineering Foundation chair and serves as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, for his seminal discoveries in bone biology, service to professional societies, and training and mentoring leaders in musculoskeletal biology and bioengineering. His work could lead to preventing bone loss in old age.

“To be recognized by my colleagues in this manner is very important,” Donahue said. “It is more than recognition of the work I do, but rather the work done by all the faculty at the VCU School of Engineering. All of us are focusing our teaching and research on helping people live better lives. Being inducted into AIMBE means other engineers recognize the importance of the work being done at VCU.”

Longest, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, was selected for outstanding contributions to the field of pharmaceutical aerosols that enable improved targeting of the small airways. Ten percent of the U.S. population under 18 has asthma, while an additional 10 percent of the population suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In most of these cases, the small airways are underserved with current inhaled medications and inhalers.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by such an outstanding group of researchers and innovators,” Longest said. “I am also grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with outstanding collaborators, students and postdocs who have helped me achieve this recognition.”

The professors will join the 160 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016 at a formal induction ceremony on April 4 at AIMBE’s 25th Annual Meeting.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.