​ASU Director of Biomedical Engineering is 2023 Sotak Lecturer

News Date
derrick  dean photo

By Hazel Scott/ASU

This year’s Sotak Lecture in Biomedical Engineering was delivered by distinguished lecturer Dr. Derrick Dean, professor and director of Biomedical Engineering at Alabama State University at ​​Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI )​ in Worcester, Massachusetts.

His topic of discussion was Fabrication and Cell Interactions of Bioactive Polymeric Scaffold. Specifically, Dean will share how his group uses nanofabrication and additive manufacturing to create multifunctional tissue scaffolds for tissue repair.

“Research in our (ASU) laboratory seeks to understand how cells interact with and respond to engineered tissue scaffolds  and how this impacts tissue repair and regeneration. This work is poised at the interface of nanotechnology, materials, engineering and the life science,” Dean said.

Dean noted that his discussion included the recent progress in the design and fabrication of three-dimensional microenvironments for bone and cartilage regeneration and their efficacy to promote cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation.

The Sotak Lecture  is given annually by a distinguished speaker in honor of Professor Christopher Sotak who was a leader and mentor at WPI  as the department head from 1999-2006. This event perpetuates Sotak’s passionate commitment to supporting and promoting innovative scholarship and research efforts in the field of bioengineering.

About Dean

Before joining ASU, Dean held joint appointments in the Materials and Biomedical Engineering departments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While there, he received the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. His other professional appointments include Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Tuskegee University, leader of the Polymer Physics team in the Advanced Technology Group at BF Goodrich in Brecksville, Ohio,  and Polymer Morphology Team Leader at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

Dean served as the Clark Way Harrison Endowed Professor at Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 and received the Outstanding Scientist in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at Alabama State University in 2017.