Dr. Michael Louis Shuler, a leading authority on modern biochemical engineering, delivered the spring’s first Distinguished Lindsay Lecture at the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University.
Shuler, the James M. and Marsha McCormick Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Samule B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University, joined the list of internationally recognized researchers who have been invited to discuss groundbreaking ideas with students and faculty.
Shuler, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, presented his speech, “Building a Body-on-a-Chip”: Applications to Drug Development.”
He discussed the development of a human-based in vitro system that could possibly eliminate dependency of animal testing and make better predictions of human response to drugs.
“With a combination of cell cultures and microfabrication, a human surrogate can be constructed,” said Shuler. “These devices have been referred to as body-on-a-chip systems. Such chips should be relatively low cost to contract and have the potential for broad application in drug development and potentially to evaluate the toxicity of chemicals.”
Congratulations to Professor Michael Shuler on winning a 2015 Lush Science Prize, an award that recognizes projects and individuals who work towards replacing animals in toxicity testing. Dr. Shuler received the prize in London, and is pictured with it on the Lush Prize website.
Michael Shuler is the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering. He was the Director for the School of Chemical Engineering from 1998 to 2002 and the founding chair for Biomedical Engineering (2004 – present), where until last year he was he was the James and Marsha McCormick Chair.
Dr. Shuler’s research focuses on applying chemical reaction engineering principles to biological systems. His group has developed a new approach to model individual cells mathematically. These models have proven to be important conceptual tools used to test hypotheses about cellular mechanisms. Another project combines mathematical models of subcellular and cellular mechanisms with whole-animal models as a means to relate the rapidly increasing insight into molecular toxicology and pharmacology with animal physiology. The organs of mathematical models are compared with physical models that use living cells to mimic organs such as the liver, colon, GI tract and lung. These devices are constructed on a microscale using the techniques of nanotechnology and are known as "Body-on-a-Chip" devices.