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Dahlman, Kwong Named to AIMBE College of Fellows
Posted March 25, 2024


Coulter BME faculty members James Dahlman and Gabe Kwong have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.


By Jerry Grillo

Two faculty members in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering — associate professors James Dahlman and Gabe Kwong — have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. 

It’s considered one of the highest professional accolades for medical and biological engineers. Dahlman and Kwong are among 163 colleagues in this year’s induction class, joining only two percent of engineers in their fields who are accorded this distinction. Inductees are nominated and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows.

“Many of the scientists I look up to are part of this organization, so I’m deeply honored to be named an AIMBE Fellow,” said Dahlman, McCamish Foundation Early Career Professor in Coulter BME, a joint department of Georgia Tech and Emory University.

AIMBE recognized him “for his sophisticated in vivo screens to develop clinically relevant lipid nanoparticles for delivering targeted RNA-based therapies outside the liver.”

Dahlman’s lab has developed nanoparticle barcodes that allow them rapidly to screen hundreds of potential drug delivery molecules at once, accelerating the discovery and delivery of new RNA therapeutics.

“I’m grateful for the recognition, but this honor really goes to the excellent trainees we have at Georgia Tech and Emory. Without their creativity and hard work, this recognition simply does not happen,” said Dahlman, who also called out his personal advisors, undergraduate mentor Daniel Miracle, and pioneering biotechnologists Robert Langer and Feng Zhang: “They believed in me and gave me the confidence to pursue high-risk, high-reward science at Georgia Tech and Emory.”

Kwong was elected, according to the AIMBE citation, “for pioneering advances in immunoengineering and the clinical translation of such advancements for early cancer detection and immunotherapy.”

He’s leading a $50 million project as part of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to map the metabolic signatures of cancer. Project CODA (for Cancer and Organ Degradome Atlas) will use this information to build bioengineered sensors for the early detection of multiple cancers.

“It’s the kind of multi-institutional project with a potential for great impact that every researcher dreams about,” noted Kwong, who said he did not develop a passion for research until college.

“That’s when I discovered that I liked solving problems — the harder the better,” said Kwong, whose Laboratory for Synthetic Immunity engineers medicines to intercept and treat disease. “After avoiding classes like chemistry in high school, I realized that I enjoy peeking under the hood, so to speak, and learning about the body, about cells and molecules.”

He added, “It just goes to show that there are multiple paths we can take to make contributions to human health. And this honor from AIMBE is personally significant, because it comes from a group of professionals that I sincerely admire, and that inspire me.”

AIMBE Fellows are some of the nation’s most distinguished medical and biological engineers, including three Nobel Prize laureates and 22 winners of the Presidential Medal of Science or Medal of Technology and Innovation. Also, 214 Fellows have been inducted to the National Academy of Engineering, 117 to the National Academy of Medicine, and 48 to the National Academy of Sciences.



Jerry Grillo
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering