MODERATOR – Manu Platt, Ph.D.
Diversity Director, STC on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems
GRA Distinguished Scholar
Georgia Tech/Emory University
Dr. Manu Platt received his B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College in 2001 and his Ph.D. from the Georgia Tech and Emory joint program in biomedical engineering in 2006. He finished his postdoctoral training at MIT in orthopedic tissue engineering and systems biology prior to returning to Georgia Tech and Emory in the joint department of Biomedical Engineering in 2009, where he has since been promoted and tenured. His research centers on proteolytic mechanisms of tissue remodeling during disease progression using both experimental and computational approaches. These diseases of focus are health disparities in the U.S., but global health concerns: pediatric strokes in sickle cell disease, personalized and predictive medicine for breast cancer, and HIV-mediated cardiovascular disease, which has taken him to South Africa and Ethiopia for collaborative work to find solutions for low resource settings. His work has been funded by NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, International AIDS Society, Georgia Cancer Coalition, and the National Science Foundation.
Integrated with his research program are his mentoring goals of changing the look of the next generation of scientists and engineers to include all colors, genders, and backgrounds. Aligned with that goal, Dr. Platt, with Bob Nerem, co-founded and co-directs Project ENGAGES (Engaging the Next Generation At Georgia Tech in Engineering and Science), a program paying African-American high school students from Atlanta Public Schools to be researchers in Georgia Tech labs since 2013. Awards for mentoring and outreach have included the Georgia Tech Diversity Champion award and Georgia Tech Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor. He was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine in 2015, the Atlanta 40 under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2016, the Biomedical Engineering Society Diversity Award and Lecture in 2017, and inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2019. Most excitingly to him, was selection in 2019 as one of the Root 100, annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45 by The Root, a web platform for Black Opinion News and Culture.