Friday, November 13, 2015

Shu Chien's advice to young scientists

"I often say to the young scientists: 'Blood flow is just like human life. If you have a clear direction, then you are in good shape'."

So says Shu Chien, somewhat of a legend within the Department of Bioengieneering at the Jacobs School, and beyond. He was in the news this week for receiving the prestigious Franklin Institute Award “for contributions to the understanding of the physics of blood flow, and for applying this knowledge to better diagnose cardiovascular disease.” 

 This puts him in the company of Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall and Bill Gates, who all received the award since its creation in 1824.

Chien spoke about the award with the Philadelphia Inquirer. An excerpt of the story below:

Chien, who applies the principles of engineering to heart disease.
He is among a dozen or so researchers who are members of all three national academies - in the sciences, medicine, and engineering.
Chien's recent work has included the study of how variations in blood flow affect the walls of surrounding arteries.
Disturbances in pressure and flow, he has found, can lead to changes in the way certain genes are expressed, yielding proteins that can contribute to atherosclerosis - known as hardening of the arteries.
A certain amount of disturbance is unavoidable as arteries divide into smaller and smaller branches, but the goal is to maintain smooth flow as much as possible, he said.
Heart-bypass surgeons must keep that principle in mind when grafting a blood vessel around a clogged artery, carefully attaching it at an angle that will minimize disturbance, Chien said.

You can also read a story about the award in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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