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February 28, 2002

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   Denine Hagen, (858) 534-2920 or


The University of California (UC) Board of Regents has awarded the prestigious title of University Professor to Shu Chien, professor of bioengineering and medicine, and director of the Whitaker Institute of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Prof. Chien is one of only 22 professors among the UC system's 7,758 faculty to hold the title, which recognizes scholars of international distinction who are respected teachers with exceptional ability.

"In both research and education, Shu Chien's impact is remarkable. Not only has he made stellar contributions to engineering, medicine and science, his work has also led to the establishment of biomedical engineering in universities throughout the nation," said Chancellor Robert C. Dynes.

"Very few University of California faculty have achieved this distinction, and Shu Chien's appointment brings enormous recognition to him and great pride to us all at UCSD and the Jacobs School," said Robert Conn, Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Prof. Chien joined UCSD in 1988 and became the founding chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering in 1994. As principal investigator on the Whitaker Foundation Development Award (1993) and Leadership Award (1998), Prof. Chien played a major role in establishing UCSD's bioengineering program as one of the top two programs in the country. In addition to his teaching service at UCSD, Prof. Chien has been invited to give more than a dozen distinguished lectures at major universities across the country and serves on the advisory committees of several leading biomedical engineering programs in the U.S.

Prof. Chien's research focuses on cardiovascular bioengineering, and he studies how cells respond to mechanical forces in health and disease. He has elucidated the molecular basis by which blood flow forces alter gene expression in the endothelial cells that make up the walls of blood vessels and has identified the chain of events that transmit molecular signals from the cell membrane to activate genes in the nucleus. His work has uncovered new details about how low density lipoproteins (LDL) accumulate in the arteries. UCSD has also just received a U.S. patent on his invention of a gene therapy approach to prevent the re-occlusion of coronary arteries after balloon angioplasty.

Chien received his M.D. from the National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. in Physiology from Columbia University, where he was a professor from 1969 to 1988. He is one of the few scientists in the nation to be elected a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. He is chairman of advisory committees of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Academia Sinica and the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan. He has served as president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Microcirculatory Society, American Chinese Medical Society, American Physiological Society and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Just a few of Chien's numerous honors and awards include the Microcirculatory Society's Landis Award, the American Physiological Society's Ray Daggs Award, the National Institutes of Health Merit Award, and the 1990 and 1996 Melville Medals from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for best scientific paper of the year.

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