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Accolades: Chemist Receives AIMBE Honor; UTD Earns Gold for Sustainability

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communications manager. 

Professor Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

Dr. Jie Zheng

Dr. Jie Zheng, professor of chemistry, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He is among 156 new fellows announced March 24.

Zheng was elected for “his outstanding contributions to fundamental understandings of in vivo nanoparticle transport and the development of renal clearable nanomedicines,” according to the institute.

“It is my great honor to be elected to AIMBE, and I am very glad that some contributions we made to human health care as chemists are recognized by my biomedical engineer fellows,” said Zheng, the Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science. “I truly appreciate the tremendous support from our university and funding agencies and will continue dedicating my career to addressing challenges in medical research.”

Zheng’s research focuses on nanomedicines that can clear out of the body through the urinary system while also selectively targeting a variety of diseases, including kidney dysfunction and cancer. His work has advanced the fundamental understanding of kidney physiology at the nanoscale and is being applied toward the development of new imaging techniques for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease.

Zheng’s research has been supported by state, federal and private entities, including the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and The Welch Foundation. 

In addition to Zheng, other UT Dallas faculty members who have been elected to the College of Fellows are: Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, vice president for research and professor of bioengineering; Dr. Stuart Cogan, professor of bioengineering; and Dr. Baowei Fei, professor of bioengineering and Cecil H. and Ida Green Chair in Systems Biology Science.

AIMBE’s College of Fellows comprises more than 2,000 individuals who represent the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community in academia, industry, clinical practice and government. Fellows include clinicians, industry professionals, academics and scientists who have distinguished themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice and/or education.

Sustainability Group Recognizes University

The University of Texas at Dallas has received Gold certification from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The new sustainability excellence certification aligns UT Dallas with peer institutions.

The association’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is an international standard for higher education and measures sustainability in four categories: academics, engagement, operations, and planning and administration.

UT Dallas has risen from Bronze certification a year ago because of tracking metrics in areas such as construction of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings, waste reduction and composting, community partnerships, student engagement programs and curriculum.

“Achieving a STARS Gold status in the University’s brief history is remarkable,” said Gary Cocke, associate director of energy conservation and sustainability. “Sustainability is going to be the lens through which many of our students apply their education. We are proud of all we do to graduate citizens who are committed to environmental responsibility.”

The University’s sustainability emphasis aligns with its Strategic Plan, which outlines efforts “to ensure a sustainable, rewarding campus environment by taking care of our people, our campus and our environment.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].