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February, 2019

Study links Celebrex, heart valve calcification after earlier research declared drug safe

Feb. 22, 2019—A well-known, four-year study found popular arthritis drug Celebrex no more dangerous for the heart than older drugs in its same classification – commonly called NSAIDs. Now, a big-data analysis of patient records at Vanderbilt University has found a link specifically between Celebrex and heart valve calcification. W. David Merryman, professor of biomedical engineering, and...

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ME senior earns prestigious fellowship from Luce Scholars Program

Feb. 22, 2019—Connor Morency, a senior from Wheaton, Illinois, studying mechanical engineering, has been named to the 2019-20 class of Luce Scholars. A nationally competitive fellowship, the Luce Scholars Program was created by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. As a Luce Scholar, Morency will...

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First step toward model brain: turning iPSCs into working blood-brain barrier

Feb. 21, 2019—Vanderbilt University engineering researchers took a major step toward building a “brain in a dish:” They cultured induced pluripotent stem cells into a successful three-dimensional blood-brain barrier model. The future of drug testing and disease research lies in creating organoids, or models of human organs, to determine efficacy and potency of medications. Duplicating the endothelial...

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Engineering firm CEO named board chairman

Feb. 21, 2019—Rob Barrack (BE’74) has been named board chairman and senior principal of Smith Seckman Reid  Inc., an employee-owned engineering design and facility consulting firm with 12 offices nationwide. His new post comes after serving 29 years as SSR’s president and CEO. The Nashville-based firm provides design and consulting services for transportation and water infrastructure projects...

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Disney-themed Engineers Week promotes the importance of imagination

Feb. 15, 2019—Vanderbilt Engineers Week 2019 – February 18-22 – is spreading a little magic through more than a dozen activities during the annual five-day celebration of engineering education. “We decided to go with a Disney theme because we think Disney really brings out our inner child and stresses the importance of imagination,” said Stephanie Wang, Engineering...

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Emeritus Professor James Wert was leader in metallurgical engineering

Feb. 12, 2019—James J. Wert, George A. Sloan Professor of Metallurgy and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus, died Feb. 4, 2019, in Nashville. Wert joined the Vanderbilt engineering faculty in 1961. He developed the Department of Materials Science and served at its chair. Later, he served as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He retired in...

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Fauchet advocates for STEM education and federal research support

Feb. 11, 2019—Left to right: Interim Dean Mark Dean (UT-Knoxville), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN05), Dean Richard Sweigard (University of Memphis) and Dean Philippe Fauchet (Vanderbilt). By Heather Bloemhard School of Engineering Dean Philippe Fauchet, who holds the Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean’s Chair in Engineering, was in Washington, D.C., last week to advocate for federal support of...

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Alumnus elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Feb. 8, 2019—John H. Koon, BE’67, MS’69, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the design of systems to treat chemically complex industrial wastewaters. Koon, P.E., is president of John H. Koon & Associates in Atlanta and professor of the practice of environmental engineering at Georgia Tech. Koon is a board certified...

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