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News Release

UC San Diego professor Bernhard O. Palsson named Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering

University of California San Diego professor Bernhard O. Palsson  has been named the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Palsson is also a professor of pediatrics, and Director of the Center for Biosustainability.   

January 13, 2021: University of California San Diego professor Bernhard O. Palsson  has been named the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Palsson is also a professor of pediatrics, and Director of the Center for Biosustainability

Palsson’s research focuses on developing experimental and computational models of the red blood cell, E. coli, CHO cells, and several human pathogens to establish their systems biology. His Systems Biology Research Group leverages high-power computing to build interactive databases of biological information and is increasingly focused on Genome Design and Engineering.

"Bernhard Palsson is a true intellectual pioneer and international thought leader who knows how to translate fundamental research into biotechnological impact. The positive outcomes of his research, and the work done by the many people he has educated and mentored, are breathtaking," said Albert P. Pisano, dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "Bernhard truly exemplifies the can-do, will-do, must-do spirit of Y.C. Fung and the endowed chair professorship created in his honor.” 

"I am honored to be awarded this chair as Y.C. Fung has been one of my role models, was one of the founders of our field, and was such an honorable and dignified individual. I shared many memorable moments with him in my early years at UCSD. I have fond memories of him and admire his legacy," said Palsson. (More about Y.C. Fung: Bioengineering Pioneer Y.C. Bert Fung Turns 100; Obituary for Y.C. Bert Fung

"Following Shu Chien who was the first and only holder of the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering adds to the prestige of the history of the chair. I can only hope to be able to continue this history of excellence. These are big shoes to fill," said Palsson. (More about Shu Chien: Pioneering bioengineer Shu Chien retires after 31 years at UC San Diego)

Palsson was named for the 7th year in a row as one of the world’s most influential researchers in their fields, according to a December 2020 research citation report from the Web of Science Group. His most cited paper, entitled, “What is flux balance analysis?” was published in Nature Biotechnology in 2010. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2006.

Palson previously held the Pierre Galletti Chair in Bioengineering Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering where he is a senior faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering, which ranks 4th in the nation for biomedical/bioengineering (US News and World Report Ranking of Best Engineering Schools, published March 2020). Bioengineering has ranked among the top four programs in the nation every year for more than a decade.

"Dr. Palsson is an outstanding world leader in systems biology and genome-scale modeling in bacteria and human cells," said UC San Diego bioengineering professor emeritus Shu Chien. "He is an inspiring educator who has written definitive textbooks on Systems Biology and Tissue Engineering, in the true tradition of Professor Fung. He is an ideal holder of the Y.C. Fung endowed chair."

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering
858-534-3262
dbkane@ucsd.edu