Thayer professor Jane Hill awarded AIMBE fellowship
Jane Hill was inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows on March 25. (Courtesy of Jane Hill)
Thayer School of Engineering professor Jane Hill has conducted research on topics ranging from the College’s corpse flower “Morphy” to infectious diseases. On March 25, Hill was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows during a formal induction ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., one of the highest professional distinctions a biological or medical engineer can receive.
The AIMBE College of Fellows annually reviews nominations submitted by current members. Nominees are evaluated based on their innovative approaches and contributions to the fields of biological and medical engineering, according to AIMBE’s website. Once selected, fellows — considered the “life-blood of AIMBE” — represent the top 2 percent of biological or medical engineers. The 2019 cohort includes 156 other biological or medical engineers.
Hill said she and her team primarily research biomarkers for infectious diseases and then “translate that knowledge into point-of-care systems for hospitals and clinics.” Her research team has received numerous grants to further their research on breath-based diagnostic tests for tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis.
“Tuberculosis is the largest infectious disease killer, [as] it kills 1.5 million people every year,” Hill said. “We have learned from many others along the way, and we have been at the forefront of the field.”
The College of Fellows selected Hill for her “outstanding contributions to the development, validation, and implementation of metabolomics in the early detection of lung infections.”
“[The selection committee] makes special note of candidates’ impact,” said AIMBE’s director of public policy and strategic partnerships Sarah Mandell. “[AIMBE] wants not only to see research and innovation but impact on the larger community and public service contributions.”
According to Mandell, AIMBE’s mission is twofold: to advance and recognize leaders in the field of biological and medical engineering and promote public policies that foster innovation and inclusion.
Fellows have numerous opportunities to engage in public policy and advocacy, including congressional lunch briefings to showcase their research to members of Congress and congressional writing campaigns, according to Mandell. She added that these discussions and letters usually pertain to STEM education, healthcare and the federal budget. Inductees may also participate in AIMBE committees, such as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Committee on Underrepresented Minorities.
AIMBE’s director of operation and member services Charles Kim said that although fellows may reap benefits from membership, AIMBE hopes its platform connects fellows with opportunities to give back. He added that fellows serve as role models for the broader engineering community.
“The reason we recognize [fellows] is for future generations of engineers,” Kim said. “Selected fellows don’t need more accolades at this point in their careers, so this recognition really allows them to give back.”
Hill joins other AIMBE Fellows from the Thayer School of Engineering, including current engineering professors Keith Paulsen Th’84 Th’86, Brian Pogue, and John Zhang; engineering professor emeritus Robert Dean Jr.; and engineering professor and co-founder and president of Simbex Richard Greenwald.
“It is a fantastic honor,” Hill said. “The AIMBE is a stimulating group of technological thought leaders, so there is a direct and wonderful benefit from being around accomplished people.”