Founding Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine,
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Dr. Martin L. Yarmush is the founding director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine. Formerly, the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Dr. Yarmush currently holds a Senior Lectureship in Surgery and Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School and the Paul and Mary Monroe Professorship in Science and Engineering at Rutgers University.
Dr. Yarmush was born in Brooklyn, New York in October 1952. As an undergraduate, he attended Yeshiva University in New York City, receiving BA degrees in 1975 in Biology and Chemistry, summa cum laude. Following graduation, Dr. Yarmush entered The Rockefeller University and obtained a PhD degree in Biophysical Chemistry in 1979. After a brief postdoctoral experience in the Laboratory of Immunogenetics at the NIH, he entered the Yale University School of Medicine, and completed all required course work and clinical rotations for his MD degree in 3 years. During medical school, he became exposed to engineering through his participation as a consultant on a project involving extracorporeal perfusion of plasma from tumor patients using Protein A adsorbents. As a consequence of this activity, he entered the MIT Chemical Engineering PhD program where he completed all requirements for a PhD excluding thesis submission.
In July 1984, he was appointed Principal Research Associate (Associate Research Professor) in Chemical Engineering at MIT. In 1987, he received dual academic and hospital appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In 1988, he was recruited by Rutgers University to assume the position of Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. At Rutgers, he was rapidly promoted to assume several leadership positions: 1) Director of the Rutgers-UMDNJ Biotechnology PhD Training Program in 1989; 2) Director of the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Graduate Program also in 1989; 3) Deputy Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in 1990; and 4) Founding Director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials and Medical Devices in 1991. In 1995, Dr. Yarmush returned to Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital as the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering. That same year he founded the Center for Engineering in Medicine.
Over the last 30 years, Dr. Yarmush has published more than 400 refereed journal articles; has advised and mentored more than 90 postdoctoral fellows and more than 40 graduate students; and has taught a spectrum of courses from molecular genetics and immunology to thermodynamics and transport phenomena. A frequent invited speaker at major conferences and symposia, and winner of over 25 local and national awards, Dr. Yarmush is known worldwide as one of the leading investigators in the area of molecular and cellular bioengineering through seminal contributions to the fields of tissue engineering, BioMEMS, applied immunology, metabolic engineering, and genomics and proteomics technology. Dr. Yarmush has been credited with many advances including: innovative cell culture systems, bioartificial organs development, stem cell therapies, targeted therapies for tumors and infections, recombinant protein & recombinant retrovirus production / purification techniques, and microfabricated living cell arrays. Some of these developments have resulted in patents and the formation of companies based on these advances. Among his many professional service contributions to the field of bioengineering is his stewardship and editorship of the “Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering”, the leading journal in its peer group and the #1 journal among all engineering journals (840 in total) with an impact factor of 11.235.