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Elazer Edelman named director of Institute for Medical Engineering and Science

A faculty member at MIT and Harvard and a practicing cardiologist, Edelman will lead MIT’s hub for health science research, innovation, and education.
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Elazer Edelman will be the new director of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.
Elazer Edelman will be the new director of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.
Photo courtesy of Elazer Edelman.

Elazer R. Edelman has been named the new director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), effective May 1.

The announcement was made today at a special meeting of the faculty for IMES and the Health Science and Technology (HST) program. “Elazer’s strengths as a researcher, a practitioner of medicine, an innovator, and an educator are a fantastic combination,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering. “We are fortunate to have such a strong leader in so many domains to direct IMES, and I look forward to working with him.”

Chandrakasan noted that Edelman succeeds Arup Chakraborty, the inaugural director of IMES. “Arup was fundamental to the institute’s creation,” he says. “He initiated a wide range of activities and collaborations that have set IMES up for success moving forward. We are deeply grateful for his many contributions.”

The Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences at MIT, Edelman has been a core faculty member of IMES since its inception and a professor in the HST program since 1991. He is also the director of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, director of the MIT Clinical Research Center, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a coronary care unit cardiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Edelman and his laboratory have pioneered basic findings in vascular biology and the development and assessment of biotechnology. His research examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that produce atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease led to the development and optimization of the first bare-metal stents, as well as subsequent iterations on the technology, including drug-eluting stents and, more recently, mechanical organ support and novel heart valves. His most recent publications have focused on how tissue-engineered cells can be used for the local delivery of growth factors and growth inhibitors in the study of the vascular homeostasis and repair, cancer invasiveness and metastases, and the homology between endothelial paracrine and angiocrine regulation in cancer and vascular diseases.  

As a mentor and educator, Edelman has supervised hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs. He and members of his research group have authored 680 original scientific publications and he holds some 80 patents.

Edelman is a fellow of, member of, or been honored by the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the Association of University Cardiologists, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many international awards is recognition by Spain with the Order of Civil Merit. He also serves as chief scientific advisor for Science: Translational Medicine and was a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Scientific Board.  

Edelman earned his undergraduate degree in bioelectrical engineering and applied biology and a master’s in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT in 1978 and 1979, an MD at Harvard University in 1983, and a PhD in medical engineering and medical physics at MIT in 1984. Edelman is also an avid ice hockey goalie and, with his wife Cheryl SM ’96, is a parent to comedian and writer Alexander, Olympic athlete AJ ’14, and MIT freshman Austin.  

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