Anirban Sen Gupta named Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering

Receiving the highest honor among the global biomaterials community, Anirban Sen Gupta is now one of less than 500 individuals to become a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE). 

Established in April 1992, the FBSE is presented by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE) and publicly recognizes individuals in the field of biomaterials science and engineering who have “gained a status of excellent professional standing and high achievements.” Those elected are role models in the field and are expected to foster the field of biomaterials and support its development.

Sen Gupta, the Wallace R. Persons Endowed Professor of Engineering, said this fellowship recognizes the innovative and impactful contributions his lab has made to the field of biomaterials— such as the development of synthetic platelets to treat hemorrhagic complications and inherited bleeding disorders, and integration of such technologies to potentially create biosynthetic whole blood. But the impact of the award goes even further.

“It is also an opportunity for me to work with my peers in the global biomaterials community to advocate for education and research in our field and enhance the impact on global healthcare, recognizing the opportunities, challenges and disparities that exist across the world in this area,” he said. 

Sen Gupta will receive the award in May at the World Biomaterials Congress (WBC2024) in Daegu, South Korea.

“My proudest accomplishment in the biomaterials field is the research program and team that I have had the opportunity to build and work with,” Sen Gupta expressed. “We focus on resolving global healthcare problems, such as timely access to transfusion therapies to treat heavy bleeding. Our interdisciplinary approach to addressing such critical healthcare needs is innovative and unique, and I am very proud and fortunate to have the opportunity to work on these issues with my team.”

How he got here

“I was an international graduate student from India who came here without a well thought-out plan or any family, friend or connection here in the US,” Sen Gupta shared.

It was his PI, the late Dr. Stephanie Lopina at the University of Akron who introduced him to the Society for Biomaterials. Once Sen Gupta started attending society conferences, he found “both an academic family and a testing ground to learn from, discuss and share his research work.” Now it is that same society that is recognizing him for his pioneering work.

Sen Gupta shared that the road to get here wasn’t always smooth sailing. As an international graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree, he faced some challenges. 

“International students are not eligible for many of the federal fellowships for doctoral research,” Sen Gupta said as he reflected on his time as a student. “They also cannot work outside the campus due to a variety of visa restrictions. Thus, they are majorly dependent on scholarships and financial assistance from the university. I was one of these students.”

Sen Gupta nods to mentors like Lopina and the late Dr. Roger Marchant, who helped him with these hurdles and ultimately with launching his academic career.

“Thinking about those aspects in retrospect, my proudest personal accomplishment is that I was able to navigate through all of that, learn from the challenges and now I get to instill the value of grit and innovation in my own research team,” he said.