Rice University bioengineer Rebekah Drezek
has been appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Director
(ACD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Drezek, a professor and associate chair of bioengineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering, assumes her appointment immediately and will serve on the committee through 2022.
In this role, Drezek will work with fellow committee members to provide advice on matters pertinent to NIH responsibilities in the conduct and support of biomedical research, medical science and biomedical communications. The committee offers recommendations on program development, resource allocation, NIH administrative regulation and policy and other specific or general aspects of NIH policy. This includes reviewing grant applications and cooperative agreements for research and training for projects that could make valuable contributions to human knowledge.
Above: The NIH Advisory Committee to the Director / Photo by NIH Advisory Committee
“Imaging technologies and biomedical engineering are playing a progressively significant role in the future of biomedical research and I am excited to have the opportunity to provide the perspective of a bioengineer to the board,” said Drezek.
A member of Rice faculty since 2002, Drezek develops photonics and nanomaterial-based technologies for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Drezek’s research has been funded among others by the NIH, National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. She has served as thrust director for the NSF Engineering Research Center on Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment, as program director for a NIH funded graduate training Ph.D. program in nanobiology and has led multiple collaborative projects with Texas Medical Center institutions.
Drezek’s research has been published in 118 papers and has led to four patents. Her notable awards include the MIT TR100 Technology Reviews’ selection of 100 Top Young Innovators Award, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Becton Dickinson Career Achievement Award and the Beckman Young Investigator Award. She was recognized as a U.S. Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar for her research on breast cancer and was the first bioengineer to receive the American Society for Photobiology Research Award.
Drezek is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a recipient of the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society.