Carnegie Mellon University
January 19, 2012

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon University's Philip LeDuc Joins Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Philip LeDucPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Philip LeDuc has been named a fellow by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for outstanding contributions to the field of cell and molecular biomechanics and bioengineering. A formal recognition ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 20 at the AIMBE's 21st annual meeting at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

"This is a great honor for me to be recognized by my peers as I continue to try to improve lives worldwide through my work," said LeDuc, a professor of mechanical engineering with courtesy appointments in the Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences and Computational Biology departments.

The AIMBE's College of Fellows comprise the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country, including engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, innovators and successful entrepreneurs.

Since 1991, the College of Fellows has led the way for technological growth and advancement in the fields of medical and biological engineering. LeDuc is one of the newest fellows who continue to help revolutionize medicine and related fields to enhance the lives of people worldwide.

At present, LeDuc is leading a CMU research team in the area of cell mechanics and merging mechanical engineering with biology. His work is titled "Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Cells. What do they have in common?" One specific project is using cell mechanics of certain leafy vegetables in Africa in an effort to make the vegetation more palatable for malnourished infants and children.

"In this project, what we are doing is studying how to alter a plant's cellular and molecular structures to nutritional availability during digestion," LeDuc said. His team is tapping into the modern and cutting-edge methodology of "molecular gastronomy," the study of the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.

LeDuc also is studying how a protein's shape and form determine how it functions in the human body from a mechanics perspective. Misguided proteins, for example, have been linked to disease such as cancer and arthritis, and problems in wound healing.

"We applaud Phil for this honor in recognition of his numerous contributions in both the lab and the classroom. Phil's impact in the field of medical and biological engineering makes us all very proud," said Nadine Aubry, the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and head of CMU's Mechanical Engineering Department.

LeDuc is a recipient of many academic awards, including the National Science Foundation Career Award, the Grand Challenges Explorations Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Beckman Foundation Young Investigators Award. He is a faculty member of the prestigious Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. Program.