Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2011
For pioneering work on biomaterials for drug delivery and cell transplantation for the treatment of peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury.

New Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Education

Via UW Medicine | May 6, 2022

On July 1, Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD, will join UW Medicine as the new vice dean for Research and Graduate Education. She succeeds John Slattery, PhD, who is retiring after holding the position since 2005. Her husband, Don Elbert, PhD, will also join UW Medicine as an associate professor in the Department of Neurology.

“I am delighted that Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert has accepted the position of vice dean for Research and Graduate Education,” says Paul Ramsey, MD, CEO of UW Medicine. “She was selected after a national search for her outstanding skills in leading interdisciplinary and translational research and supporting the career development of faculty, staff, trainees and students. I also want to thank John Slattery for his long service and great success in building an internationally renowned research community at UW Medicine to advance biomedical science… Continue reading.

Biomaterials Science, 4th Edition

Via Society For Biomaterials | March 1, 2020


  • William Wagner, PhD
  • Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD
  • Guigen Zhang, PhD
  • Michael J. Yaszemski, MD, PhD

Founding Editors:

  • Buddy Ratner, PhD
  • Allan Hoffman, ScD
  • Frederick Schoen, MD, PhD
  • Jack Lemons, PhD


Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive text on biomaterials science, from principles to applications. It provides a balanced, insightful approach to both the learning of the science and technology of biomaterials, acting as a key reference for practitioners involved in the applications of materials in medicine. In this new edition, there are key updates to reflect the latest relevant research in the field, particularly in applications in nanotechnology, robotic implantation, and biomaterials utilized in cancer research detection and therapy. Other additions include regenerative engineering, 3D printing, personalized medicine and organs on a chip.

Based on customer feedback, the new edition also features a consolidation of redundant material to ensure clarity and focus. Where appropriate, end-of-chapter exercises have been included with online solutions available… Learn more.

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert Named New Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Via U. Texas Austin | May 10, 2016

The Cockrell School of Engineering has named Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, an accomplished biomedical engineer and university administrator, as the next chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Sakiyama-Elbert currently serves as vice dean for research at the Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science in St. Louis, where she is also a professor of biomedical engineering and co-director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine. She will begin her appointment as department chair, professor of biomedical engineering and the holder of the Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering at UT Austin on Aug. 1, 2016.

“I am thrilled to welcome Shelly as the new head of biomedical engineering at UT Austin,” said Dean Sharon L. Wood. “She will bring outstanding expertise in biomaterials, tissue engineering and many other research areas, and she will be a strong leader who will continue to advance the department.”

The Cockrell School selected Sakiyama-Elbert after a competitive national search that began when previous chair Nicholas Peppas stepped down after six years to lead the new Institute for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine in the Cockrell School in fall 2015. Professor Andrew Dunn has served as the department’s interim chair while the search was conducted.

New Center Focuses On Regenerative Medicine

Via Washington U. in St. Louis | December 11, 2015

A new center has been formed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to facilitate research that explores the regenerative properties of cells and tissues. The goal of the Center of Regenerative Medicine is to develop new medical treatments that might one day allow doctors to regrow or replace a damaged heart or severed nerves, or restore lost vision or hearing.

The new center will foster research collaborations across the School of Medicine and Danforth campuses, providing more resources for investigators in diverse disciplines.

The new center is helmed by co-directors Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Developmental Biology; Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering; and executive director Angela N. Bowman, PhD, assistant professor of developmental biology.

“We hope the center will help researchers in different fields come together and talk about innovative projects that wouldn’t happen otherwise,” Sakiyama-Elbert said.

AAAS taps Sakiyama-Elbert as 2015 fellow

Via Wash. U. in St. Louis | November 23, 2015

Three faculty members at Washington University in St. Louis are among 347 new fellows named by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. David W. Piston, PhD; Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD; and Jeffrey M. Zacks, PhD, will receive the highest honor awarded by AAAS in recognition of their distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. 

Sakiyama-Elbert, professor of biomedical engineering and vice dean for research in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is being recognized for her fundamental contributions to advanced biomaterials and for leading research on nerve regeneration systems.

Her research focuses on developing biomaterials for drug delivery, as well as cell transplantation for the treatment of peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury. She is a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders and Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at Washington University, as well as co-director of the recently established Center of Regenerative Medicine.

Sakiyama-Elbert joined the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2011, and was elected a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2013. She also serves on the board of the Society for Biomaterials. At Washington University, she was co-president of the Association of Women Faculty from 2012-14, and a Provost Faculty Fellow from 2012-13.

Sakiyama-Elbert Elected Fellow of Biomedical Engineering Society

Via Washington University in St. Louis | August 15, 2013

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD, has been elected to the Biomedical Engineering Society Class of 2013 Fellows.

Sakiyama-Elbert, professor and associate chair of biomedical engineering, was one of seven elected to the class. Fellows are selected for demonstrating exceptional achievements and experience in the biomedical engineering field and for their membership and participation in the society.
She will be formally recognized at the society’s annual meeting in September in Seattle.

Two Named Faculty Fellows in Provost’s Office​

Via Washington University in St. Louis | February 4, 2013

Two faculty members have been named Faculty Fellows in the Office of the Provost by Edward S. Macias, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD, professor and associate chair of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering, and Heather Corcoran, MFA, associate professor of communication design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, began their terms as faculty fellows in November.