UW Bioengineering Robert F. Rushmer Professor Suzie Pun has been selected as a 2015-16 AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador in recognition of her contributions to and innovation in the field of biomaterials and drug delivery. Dr. Pun is one of seven Ambassadors selected for 2015-16. The Ambassadors recently gathered in Washington, D.C. for a July event, “Celebrate Invention”.
The AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador Program is a joint effort of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation. The program seeks to cultivate a new and diverse generation of inventors who promote global understanding of the importance of invention and innovation.
The three-year pilot program has selected 15 Ambassadors from science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (STEM) across academia and industry. Ambassadors act as leaders and change agents to promote invention and its crucial role in improving quality of life, promoting economic growth and empowerment, advancing education of future inventors and fostering innovation.
Dr. Pun’s research focuses on developing bioinspired materials for medical applications. Most recently, bioengineers in Dr. Pun’s research group, along with collaborators from UW Emergency Medicine and Chemical Engineering, developed an injectable polymer that helps strengthen blood clots to stop uncontrolled bleeding. The polymer could be used to quickly treat bleeding in trauma patients in emergency rooms, or in military combat environments or other low-resource settings. The researchers published their findings in the March 4, 2015 issue of Science Translational Medicine. Dr. Pun also investigates improved methods for drug delivery to the central nervous system, and detection and treatment of cancer.