Cerasela Zoica DinuCerasela Dinu, associate professor of chemical engineering at West Virginia University, has been appointed associate chair of the department and will lead the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ program in biomedical engineering. The major, which was officially launched in 2014, is offered at the undergraduate level.

The biomedical engineering discipline is among the fastest growing engineering disciplines due to the rapid advancement of medical technologies and treatment and diagnosis strategies; in fact, many are claiming this century as the one that will revolutionize the biological sciences. A recent study by CNN predicts a 10-year job growth rate of 27 percent in the industry.

According to Dinu, one of the things that makes WVU’s program different is its multi-disciplinary focus in such areas as biomaterials, nanotechnology, biomedical imaging and biomechanics.

“We have complimentary and multi-disciplinary expertise that can help us bridge with colleagues at WVU’s Health Science Center and the state’s growing biomedical industry,” said Dinu. “Together, we can educate the next generation of professionals that can make a difference in the design and development of new technologies for our healthcare system.

“I am looking forward to the challenges of this position and working together with my colleagues across WVU in an effort to advance the program,” she added.

Joining her in that effort from the Statler College are Robin Hissam, David Klinke and Yong Yang from chemical engineering; Sam Mukdadi from mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Yuxin Liu and Thirimachos Bourlai from the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

“This is truly an interdisciplinary effort, and given Dr. Dinu’s research and teaching expertise, she is the ideal person to lead it,” said Rakesh Gupta, professor and George and Carolyn Berry Chair of Chemical Engineering.

Dinu’s expertise lies in the areas of nanomaterials for biomedical and engineering applications and in nanotoxicology. She recently earned a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for her work to identify technologies capable of increasing the world’s energy portfolio while reducing environmental impact.

Dinu received her doctorate in biology from Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and Dresden Technical University in Germany. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biophysics and physics from the University of Bucharest in Romania. Dinu was named one of the Outstanding Researchers in the Statler College in 2014 and the New Researcher of the Year in 2011.