Newswise — David Kaplan, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, a Distinguished Professor, and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his contributions to silk-based materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Election to the National Academies is one of the foremost professional recognitions available to engineers, scientists, and medical experts.

“On behalf of my past and current students and colleagues here at Tufts, it is an honor to be recognized by the National Academy of Engineering,” said Kaplan.

Kaplan’s lab is leading efforts in applying tissue engineering to cellular agriculture (i.e. cell grown meat), the development of 3D brain-like environments in the lab to study neurological diseases and treatments, and the regeneration of tissues, organs and limbs. He is also pioneering methods to manufacture biocompatible medical devices from silk.

Kaplan is the director of the Initiative for Neural Science, Disease & Engineering. For 15 years, he directed the National Institutes of Health P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center as a partnership with Columbia University. He holds faculty appointments in Tufts School of Medicine, the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Kaplan has published more than 900 peer-reviewed papers and edited eight books. He is a highly cited expert in biomaterials and biotechnology and a pioneer in the use of silk as a novel option in the field of degradable medical polymers.

In 2019, a report in Nature Biotechnology recognized him as one of the top 20 translational researchers in biotechnology worldwide. He is editor-in-chief of the journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

Kaplan is also a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. He was recently named co-chair of the first Gordon Research Conference on silk-based materials, slated for August 2021.