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BIOMED Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony

Recreation Center Gym
Thursday, June 9, 2022
9:00 a.m. ET


Raphael C. Lee, MD, ScD, FACS

Keynote Speaker:
Raphael C. Lee ’75, MSBmE, MD, ScD, FACS

Surgeon and research scientist pioneering treatment for traumatic injuries

Raphael Lee is the Paul and Allene Russell Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery and Medicine at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, where he is a fellow in the Institute for Molecular Engineering and directs the Laboratory for Molecular Regeneration.

Internationally known for advancing our understanding of the molecular biomechanics of electrical shock, ionizing irradiation, thermal trauma and other injuries, Dr. Lee is among the nation’s most esteemed plastic surgeons, recognized for devising functional reconstructive surgery methods.

In 1992, Dr. Lee’s laboratory reported a clinically applicable method to seal disrupted cell membranes using amphiphilic copolymers with the capacity to preserve tissue viability following injuries such as burns and military trauma. Most recently, his block copolymer research has been extended to formulation of synthetic chaperones that have important implications for tissue preservation. Therapeutics developed through Dr. Lee’s research gave rise to three biotechnology companies.

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Dr. Lee has been named a MacArthur Prize Fellow, an American College of Surgeons Schering Scholar, a Searle Scholar and a Bucksbaum Institute Senior Clinical Scholar. In addition, he received the James Barrett Brown Award from the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the American Electrical Power Association Award for “Advancing Electrical Safety and Health” and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s Pierre Galletti Award for advancing the field of biomedical engineering.

He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.

On the global stage, Dr. Lee led a World Health Organization sub-committee tasked with assessing the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Belarus and received a “Key to the City” award from Shanghai for facilitating the development of a national center for treating electrical injuries. Dr. Lee now serves on an American College of Surgeons committee that is advancing surgical training in developing nations.

A trustee of Drexel, Dr. Lee received his MS in biomedical engineering and science from the University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and his MD from Temple University Medical School. He received his ScD from MIT.

Margaret Wheatley, PhD

Elisabeth Papazoglu Inspired Leadership Award:
Margaret A. Wheatley, PhD

The Elisabeth Papazoglou Inspired Leadership Award is given in annual memory of her. The award is given in recognition of an individual who demonstrates exceptional abilities to lead, serve, collaborate, and inspire with broad impact and special distinction.

Margaret Wheatley, PhD, received her BS in Chemistry from Oxford University, UK, and an MS in Biochemistry from the same institution. She saw the engineering light and pursued her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. She went on to do post doctoral research with Dr. Robert Langer at MIT, Boston, investigating controlled drug delivery. Subsequently, after a three-year taste of industry at the Glaxo Smith Kline research facility at King of Prussia, PA, she joined Drexel's Department of Chemical Engineering as the department's first female faculty member in 1987. In 1998, Dr. Wheatley moved to the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel as an inaugural faculty member. Her main research area is the development of novel polymeric platforms to find life saving solutions to current medical challenges. These challenges include repair of spinal cord injury and drug delivery, as well as drug targeting in cancer.

Undergraduate Speaker:
Jillian Saunders

Jillian Saunders

BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering ’22

Graduate Student Speaker:
Olivia (Ngo) Boerman

Olivia Ngo Boerman

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering ’22