by Nicole Capozziello
Published January 27, 2020
Sriram Neelamegham, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been elected Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), an honor given to the most accomplished leaders in the field.
Founded in 1968, BMES is the foremost professional society for biomedical engineering and bioengineering and includes 7,500 members internationally. BMES’ distinction of Fellow recognizes members with outstanding qualifications and experience who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of biomedical engineering.
One of 15 top researchers to be honored as a Fellow in 2019, Neelameghan was specifically recognized for his longtime contributions to the fields of vascular bioengineering and glycoengineering.
“Sriram’s election as a Fellow of BMES is a well-deserved recognition of his research accomplishments and his stature as a leader in the growing field of glycoengineering internationally,” says Mark Swihart, UB Distinguished Professor, Empire Innovation Professor, and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “The acknowledgement also highlights the world-class bioengineering research and education being done here.”
Neelamegham has published over 100 research articles. His recent research has involved working at the systems level to develop a better understanding of how carbohydrate structures are altered during the transition from normal physiology to disease in a number of contexts, including human inflammatory diseases and cancer. While traditional biochemical studies examine individual processes one at a time, explains Neelamegham, his team’s studies aim to integrate knowledge using new high-throughput experimental tools and computational modeling.
“The fundamental understanding of glycosylation and systems-level models of it being developed by Sriram’s team provide a foundation for treatments to modulate inflammation with far-reaching implications from arthritis to asthma to cardiovascular disease,” says Swihart.
Looking back at his career thus far, Neelamegham says, “I’m proud of the number of fields our research has touched, from studies of thrombosis to human inflammatory diseases, cancer biology and regenerative medicine.”
Neelamegham has also served as research advisor to more than eight post-doctoral fellows, 25 PhD students, eight Master’s students and more than 25 undergraduate researchers.
“I always look forward to watching students transition to independence during their studies,” says Neelamegham. “I also appreciate students taking initiative to come up with ideas that broaden my own thinking and expand the scope of the conducted research.”
Neelamegham received his B. Tech in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1991 and his PhD in chemical engineering, with a specialization in bioengineering, from Rice University in 1996. After completing his post-doctoral training at the Baylor College of Medicine, he established his independent research laboratory at UB in 1997.
His lab has earned continuous National Institutes of Health funding for two decades. Neelamegham has also served as sole principal investigator on $13M in federal grants, and co-principal investigator on additional awards.
Neelamegham is a recipient of the 2004 NIH Independent Scientist award, 2015 State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, 2018 Schoellkopf Medal from the Western New York Section of the American Chemical Society and was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering in 2012. He has served on NIH advisory panels, the editorial boards of various journals and is currently the lead facilitator developing the Symbol Nomenclature for Glycans (SNFG) at the NCBI-glycans resource.
Neelamegham was acknowledged at the BMES Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in October, 2019.