Dawant, Klein-Gardner, Landman, Wilson elected as new AIMBE fellows

AIMBE leadership, Vanderbilt’s 2024 Fellows and Krishnendu Roy, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of the School of Engineering, at the AIMBE annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (L-R) J. Lawrence Wilson Professor at Vanderbilt and chair of the AIMBE College of Fellows Michael King, Benoit Dawant, Dean Roy, AIMBE President Joyce Wong, Stacy Klein-Gardner, John Wilson and Bennett Landman.


Four Vanderbilt University engineering faculty members have been elected to the 2024 College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). They are:

  • Benoit M. Dawant, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE), was selected “for technological breakthroughs related to image-guided surgery, and for fostering collaboration between surgeons and engineers to improve health care.”
  • Stacy S. Klein-Gardner, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering, was selected “for pioneering contributions in building the next generation of engineers through K-12 engineering education, increasing diversity and mentorship.”
  • Bennett A. Landman, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Stevenson Chair in Engineering, was selected “for outstanding contributions to medical imaging computing and informatics including robust segmentation algorithms, quantitative diffusion MRI, and artificial intelligence (AI).”
  • John T. Wilson, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was selected “for outstanding contributions to the fields of drug delivery, immunoengineering, and cancer immunotherapy.”
Engineering Dean Krishnendu Roy

“We are proud to have four outstanding faculty members recognized at the highest level of their profession for contributions to research, education and the advancement of human health,” said Krishnendu Roy, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of the School of Engineering and University Distinguished Professor, and himself an AIMBE Fellow. “Their leadership and collaboration in multiple areas of great importance—medical imaging, AI, drug delivery and immunoengineering, diversity and mentorship, K-12 engineering education, and more—is a tremendous honor for the school and for Vanderbilt University. This goes to show how our faculty are making deep scientific and societal impact every day and being recognized for their excellence.”

Benoit Dawant

Dawant is a professor of electrical engineering and holds university appointments in computer engineering, biomedical engineering, radiology and radiological sciences, neurological surgery and otology. His research interests include medical image processing and analysis.

“It is a real honor to be elected by peers who are top leaders and experts in biomedical engineering,” said Dawant. “Their recognition means a lot to me, and it is a testament to the work our research team has accomplished over the years for improving patient care.”

Dawant is a fellow of the IEEE with extensive expertise in medical image processing and analysis. He is the founding director of VISE, created to foster collaborations between engineers and physicians, and to accelerate the development of systems designed to improve interventional processes and their outcomes. Over the last 20 years, he led efforts that encompass the development, validation, clinical deployment, and commercialization of automatic image analysis methods and of systems designed to facilitate surgical procedures.

In particular, Dawant led the development of systems to assist in the placement of deep brain stimulators used for treating Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, in the placement of brain electrodes for the diagnosis of epilepsy, and in the placement and programming of cochlear implants used to restore hearing in profoundly deaf patients. Systems developed in his laboratory have been commercialized and are in routine clinical use. Others have reached the stage of research clinical systems and have been integrated in the clinical workflow at Vanderbilt and other institutions.

Stacy Klein-Gardner

Klein-Gardner is co-director and co-PI of the NSF-funded Engineering for US All (e4usa.org), a project that seeks to demystify and democratize engineering through yearlong, hands-on introduction to engineering courses at the high school level. Serving of 7500 students around the US already, this work has led to the launch of a new nonprofit company meant to sustain and grow the work.

“I am delighted to be elected as an AIMBE fellow alongside such accomplished peers. This recognition is very meaningful to me as it recognizes my research in biomedical engineering education and K-12 education.”

Over the years, her work has entailed significant research in professional development for teachers of engineering at all levels of K-12.  Klein-Gardner was elected a fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, an honor awarded to only 8-10 members per year. She also provides educational evaluation of a two-course sequence in VISE’s NIH T32 Training Grant.

Bennett Landman

Landman holds university appointments in computer science, biomedical engineering, radiology and radiological sciences, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, biomedical informatics, and neurology. His research concentrates on applying image-processing technologies to leverage large-scale imaging studies to improve our understanding of individual anatomy and personalized medicine.

“I am honored to be recognized by my peers and to join the ranks of AIMBE fellows in advocating for medical and biological engineering,” Landman said.

Landman served on the faculty of Vanderbilt’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 2010 to 2021. In July 2021, he joined and became the first chair of the newly formed Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Among his many awards and honors, Landman became the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging (JMI) on Jan. 1, 2024.

He is the principal scientist of ImageVU, Vanderbilt’s clinical data reuse initiative in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. He also is affiliated with VISE, the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

John Wilson

Wilson holds appointments in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, and co-leads the Host-Tumor Interactions Program within the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. His group works at the interface of molecular engineering and immunology with a goal of innovating new therapeutics and technologies to boost the immune system’s ability to fight diseases like cancer.

“I am delighted to be elected as an AIMBE fellow and to recognized by such accomplished peers,” Wilson said. “This is a strong testament to the hard work and creativity of our research team and to the collaborative environment at Vanderbilt and VUMC where our multidisciplinary research can thrive.”

Wilson, who is principal investigator of the Immunoengineering Lab at Vanderbilt and a Chancellor Faculty Fellow, and his team have made advanced the burgeoning field of immunoengineering through their work in “smart” technologies for immunotherapy, next-generation vaccine delivery platforms, and research to understand mechanisms of action and resistance to cancer immunotherapy.

Last year, Wilson was among a team of Vanderbilt engineers, biologists and education specialists that received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance large-scale biomanufacturing of cell-derived nanoparticles that can deliver precisely targeted drugs to the site of a disease. His group was among the first to develop drug delivery platforms for STING agonists, a promising type of immunotherapy, and Wilson and his collaborators received the 2021 Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award for Research for his work in this area, which has been published in journals such as Nature Nanotechnology and Science Immunology.

Between 1991 and 2024, there have been 38 current and emeritus Vanderbilt University faculty who have been elected to the AIMBE’s College of Fellows. Thomas Harris, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Medicine, was AIMBE president in 2005-2006.

The four professors were inducted March 25 during the AIMBE annual meeting in Washington, D.C. along with 162 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2024.

Contact brenda.ellis@vanderbilt.edu